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January 09 2010

(SPOILER) Discuss the eleventh episode of Dollhouse season 2. Titled 'Getting Closer', this episode is written and directed by Tim Minear. And if you missed it, the episode is now available to watch for free at the Fox site and Hulu and is available for purchase at iTunes.

I'm oh so very excited. In general I love Mr. Minear's work. His episodes last year reminded me a lot of David Lynch.

[ edited by bedukay on 2010-01-09 01:46 ]
Yesssss....I almost forgot this was on tonight! ^_^
i am counting down the minutes, cant wait
"Getting Closer" to the end. =(

At least it's sure to be an awesome ride through.
Gladness. Even if we are seeing the final days, at least we get to be treated with Minear-y goodness.
Looks like the Friday schedule in central time changed at least where I live. Wasn't expecting Bones to come on in Dollhouse's normal time but it may be a good lead-in, come to think of it!
I'm real excited. Just finished re-watching The Attic and I'm going in 100% spoiler free. So many questions! What's the plan to take down Rossum? What did Ivy learn about Topher? Is Saunders coming back? What did they remove from Paul? This is gonna be great!
It's airing right NOW in Canada due to a scheduling error, so be warned. There will be spoilers.
I have such a heavy heart tonight. I have grown to love this show. And to only have a few eps left kills me. I will enjoy every second of them.
Looks like the Friday schedule in central time changed at least where I live. Wasn't expecting Bones to come on in Dollhouse's normal time but it may be a good lead-in, come to think of it!


Dollhouse's 'normal time' is 9 p.m. ET. Always has been.
Oh, new TV episodes, how I have missed you! :) Anyhoo, am very much anticpating tonight's Dollhouse.
I don't think Tim has hit one out of the park yet on Dollhouse. Here's hoping this is the one.
"Kill you with her brain" lol
"She'll kill you with her brain."

YAY!
Came here for the "kill you with her brain" bit, but I was beat to it. I think I'm staying offline for this one. Must pay attention...
Just finished watching. Two distinct thoughts: HOLY SH*T & NO WAY!!! This breaks things wide open....
"She looks really smart. Maybe she can kill me with her brain" did in fact make me happy.

I won't admit to the man-reaction, however.
Okay, so I lied. But Summer still is the hottest girl in school even with those glasses on. Maybe moreso.
Just finished watching it.

First reaction:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For a few seconds I couldn't breathe.

ETA: OK, so two things that bothered me:

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2010-01-09 03:20 ]
OMG. OMFG. Thank you Global for airing it an hour early.

As Cordelia would say; "Great. Now I'm going to be stuck with serious thoughts all day week."

I will leave this thread unspoiled, but I am very very pained that
I have to wait a week.
Wow pretty much every line is a winner so far.
"After they do this to you, can you ever be right again?" There is an essential question.
So... it's a good one, then?
I love the music during the Topher/Bennet scenes.
OMG I'm in bliss! Topher/Bennett and Boyd/Claire, sooooo romantic! I am loving this.
I called it! Well, I almost called it!

The thing taken from Paul was his feelings for Echo. My guess was that his romantic memories of Echo were taken. Almost the same thing =p
And more on the ending now that I've taken a few minutes. Spoiler coded because of all the people not watching Global.


Who else thinks there's a chance this show could have been the best of Joss' four shows IF given a chance?
Ha, I thought for a minute, and now I might say 2nd best? Not cause it aint good, but because Firefly really, really wasn't given a chance, and it was good from "go".

[ edited by CaptainB on 2010-01-09 03:36 ]
Let the dying begin!
I love dollhouse, but firefly is an addiction

typo edited

[ edited by Canis_Latrans on 2010-01-09 03:43 ]
Oh... Now I feel bad about calling Caroline a "bitch!" after The Left Hand...
This looks familiar :(
OMG!!! Jesus Christ!!! WTF!!!!
Holy shit monkey balls.
WTF just happened?
Gee, why did she do that?
Aw man, knew she was gonna do that when she entered the scene. WHY?!
What the hell.....???!!!
I can't believe that just happened. I'm so sad she died! I loved her!
Oh dear God.... they've blown my mind!
And yes, Dollhouse is awesome. I'm not sure it could have ever been a break away pop hit, but it is definitely something really special.
and i liked bennet, im gonna have a manfull cry now
SEE?!? Told you, man ;)
That was cold, Saunders. Really cold.

Also, enjoyed seeing the Boyd/Saunders scene from "Epitaph One" in context.
No. It's a lie. That didn't happen. She's wearing a special helmet. She's going to get up soon. She's just gonna get up and go into hiding. That's why she won't be back.
She was designed to hate Topher. Guess he did too good a job.
So... Saunders is the Rossum guy. HOLY SHIT AND SHOVE ME IN IT!!!
Looks like we're starting to see the beginning traces of how we saw Topher in "Epitaph One".

Anyone else really impressed with Fran Kranz's work this season? He's really stepped up.
"There are 3 flowers in a vase"
Topher! Hilarious!
WHAT'S GOING ON~?!??!?!
God this show is too damn good for what happened to it.
And the end is out of control.
I can't take this many twists this quickly.
Whaaattt???!!! Why Boyd?!!
Wait. Wait.

WHAT??
God damn, the further this season progresses, the more heartbreaking it becomes that it's almost over. :(
Boyd is the big bad?! He's the big Boyd?!
Okay, no, THAT was the "holy shit monkey balls."
Such surprises! I usually watch shows fairly quietly but there was a lot of exclaiming going on tonight. What a big big surprise the end was.
My mouth literally dropped open twice. Dropped.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
WHAT


I think that's all I can coherently say.
I had a hunch that Boyd knew Caroline pre DH but i could never fit how.
Wow. Just... wow. (In shock here.)
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Omg, if Boyd really turns out to be evil, I will not only be super unhappy, but c'mon... that's totally unbelievable from everything we've seen of him.
HOLY GODDAMN WHAT?!
Holy _ _ _ _

Boyd

Second time in two days I've said that.Between this and the Buffy #34 reveal.Good God.

Grand episode tonight.
My mind feels like Bennett's right now... Blown away. God, I love this show.
SPEECHLESS, complete stunned
I can't think of a bigger twist that I never saw coming from the Mutant Enemy staff. Even including that recently revealed Buffy big-bad.
Oh my god. Wha... how...

First poor adorable Bennet, then Saunders was evil... and Boyd!?!?!?

I can't believe it. How? Why!?!?
Definitely an "I've got to rewatch this to figure out what the hell happened" episode. Very cool, but still trying to process.

BOYD??!!?!?!

Boyd (or, actually, Boyd 1.0) must have been a vessel for one of the Clydes (or maybe Clyde's partner?). Already was a "doll" maybe, and so maybe "Boyd" as we know him now really is a good guy. So Caroline will get a mind frak when she sees him.
if boyd is big bad, whyd he help echo re-caroline?
Seriously. What the frak just happened?! omg
Im thinking Boyd phases in and out of his imprint and his normal persona.
Boyd had to be planning to dolling caroline and being her handler, thats why he gave the handler line in the office
OMFG IM SO STUNNED RIGHT NOW. I was waiting for the big reveal but I NEVER thought of BOYD! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
If you want to hide something, put it right out in the open. And that's how Whiskey got programmed to kill Bennet. I knew Boyd was at the top of the chain when he snapped the security guy's neck, although I couldn't tell you how I knew it or why. The question is what his motivation and goal are.
Well, these are some insightful comments we've got going here.
AHHHHHH!!! OMG!!!! That episode had more WTF moments than I've seen on TV in a while! (but in a good way, of course). So... many... twists!
But what was he cultivating her for!? to "save all of them"
WHAT WHAT WHAT


MY BRAIN HAS EXPLODED

also, please no buffy 34 spoilers in this thread. please!
And my mind as been blown by Whedon for a second time today. Whoa.
OMG. I couldn't even read all the comments. I got to "Holy shit monkey balls. pat32082" And I had to close out and walk away. Joss, you bastard. And Tim, you bastard too.

Still love you guys though.
Maybe Echo's brain contains some kind of imprint virus or worm that somehow will dismantle the entire imprinting programming.
OMG I'm in bliss! Topher/Bennett and Boyd/Claire, sooooo romantic! I am loving this.

Embers, looking at your comment above and had to laugh at what we were thinking, just 20 minutes ago.

Joss, you did this to us? Again? Twice? In the span of ten minutes?

Thou art an evil man indeed.
Boyd probably knows re-Carolining Echo would backfire, so he helped?

The Epitaph One scene between Claire and Boyd--do you think they were really Claire and Boyd there? Or their secret personas? Or have they been eevil all along, since last February?

[ edited by CaptainB on 2010-01-09 04:12 ]
I am so right with you guys! WHAT A TWIST! And two really really big ones in less than 15 minutes? Joss is an artist. I was practically hitting myself when I reflected, afterward, that I should have seen Bennett coming. That's like a law with Joss, people can't have happy relationships. Poor Topher! And I think there's more going on than hate with Saunders. If Saunders weren't important to Topher, he probably would want her dead now, and we don't see that.

Prediction: I think Saunders/Whiskey is Topher's biological sister.
I'm still the the OMG moment. What an episode.
Bennet! :( Boyd??

My mind is screwed. I'm so confused.

When Claire started talking to Bennett, I just had this feeling something bad was going to happen. I should have seen it coming... I thought she might be going after the imprint... Heavens was I wrong. I'm in utter shock.
R.U.R - Rossum's Universal Robots (Thanks to Herc @ AICN)

http://tinyurl.com/ysdzqy
Yeah, very interesting commentage going on. I'm still stuck on, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
I truly LOVE this show. I am going to miss this most of all.
Listen, Joss, the thing is, you are all eight flavors of BRILLIANCE. I love you and Mr. Minear and all of you and wow.

I thought tonight also held some of Ms. Glau's best work. I love that Caroline hadn't just left her for dead, but rather this girl's fragile understanding of friendship just couldn't bear a loss.

Yowza that was a good episode. I'm going to miss this show so very much. Can I get a "wah"?
Amazing episode. I'm looking forward to see how they explain Boyd's big reveal. Clearly, this isn't just about Rossum merely being power hungry and causing the apocalypse anymore. There was a far more complicated plan involving Caroline/Echo at work. I can't wait to see how it all plays out.
Who were Claire and Boyd in the Epitaph One scene from tonight's episode?
I continually screamed for the last ten minutes of the episode. Holy crap!

We've been waiting for Boyd's backstory and boy did we get it...
I just keep thinking back to Adelle in Ghost: "Everything is not as it appears to be."
I think its safe to say that Mr. Minear finally hit a DH ep out of the ballpark.
One thing that has me curious...


Hi. Can't speak.

Can we preorder the season two DVDs yet. Want. Now.

... And when does the latest episode load up on Hulu?? Need to rewatch.
Sidestepping all the crazy reveals and twists, it was a really nice character moment having Topher tell Ivy to leave and have a safe life. Again, Fran Kranz this season has been fantastic.

[ edited by ItsOnlyCody on 2010-01-09 04:18 ]
Ack! i can't believe boyd! BOYD! i love boyd! dammit. boyd can't be the big bad—he just can't!

My two favorite characters and they're going to take out the house...
ItsOnlyCody--flashbacks?

Also, agree that she was great tonight. Her facial reactions to Topher at the beginning were great. It makes me think of River's line "the way people talking without talking" (or something like that).

Also agree that Tim Minear hit a homerun, triple play, whatever else is a good metaphor.
Cripplediion, you're right - it would seem that putting Echo in the Dollhouse was part of a Big Plan. That would explain why there's something different about Echo's brain architecture. It would make sense for it to be one of the original scientists to know how to do this. What on earth is the plan, I wonder, and what is its purpose?

I'm not understanding why Boyd would have helped Echo re-Caroline, while Saunders acted to prevent this very same thing from happening. Maybe there are two different agendas at work?

Or maybe Boyd has been trying to bring Dollhouse down all along? Why else would he want to help bring the original Caroline back? But then why would he be in the same room cooperating with Clyde 5.0? So confusing!

Maybe we need to do a recap of Boyd's actions from S1 and S2, which included giving Echo the security key card...

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2010-01-09 04:22 ]
At least Ivy's safe... ;_;
When Ivy disappeared, I thought she was the one that was gonna come back with the gun even when Claire was talking to Bennett. It never occurred to me that it was gonna be Claire that did it.

Re: Boyd. Wow.
I don't think Claire is aware that she's a sleeper. That's how sleepers work. So during that scene previously seen in "Epitaph One", she was truly worried. Something Boyd said then was probably her trigger.
I second the desire to pre-order S2 DVDs RIGHT NOW.
TWIST!

Ok I need to re-watch everything with that reveal in mind and see if I can make any sense of it. Also I was thinking Saunders shot Bennett because she just hated Topher that much, not because she was programmed to, but I guess not.
ItsOnlyCody - I agree with you, I like Topher. I was never one of the people who disliked him at the beginning of S1 - I thought he was someone who would become more human over the course of the series, needing to see people (even imprints) for who they are. It just made sense, given the issues the series is exploring.

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2010-01-09 04:25 ]
Yeah, I thought Ivy was going to end up being the traitor. I'm so glad she's out, but I can't help but worry about whether or not she'll be okay.

Still weeping forever.
But sleepers are shown to be silent and Terminator-esque when activated. Claire seemed fully aware of what she was doing.
I feel sorry for Bennett! Waaah!
Joss delivers again.
CaptainB:
Who else thinks there's a chance this show could have been the best of Joss' four shows IF given a chance?

I agree with someone else above that I think Firefly still owns my heart. At the same time, for whatever reasons we may like one series over the other, I think Joss is someone who continues to improve the technique of his craft. His show concepts are designed to give him room to break rules, including some of his own. I'm all giddy to think of what he'll do in the future! :)

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2010-01-09 04:28 ]

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2010-01-09 04:28 ]
Ivy probably didn't make it out of the building. The shooting started imediately after she left the room.
trying out scenarios to explain Boyd.

-pretty sure we've seen evidence (in "Echoes" and with TOpher's brain wipe in "The Public Eye" that he is not/never was a doll (I think we've been told former dolls are left with "residual architecture" or some such phlebotinum that means an ex-doll would still be affected by things that affect dolls, but tell me if I'm wrong).

-Seems clear from his neck-snap trick that his (current) motivation is not identical to Rossum's.

So three basic categories of possible story arc for him (I think):

1. He is head of Rossum, but has always had a secret plan that the rest of the company doesn't know of.

2. He is/was head of Rossum, but discovered something along the line that made him want to go a different direction (which change could've been motivated by either good or bad goals).

3. His appearance as head of Rossum was always some weird blackmarket "acting" job he took on, and this was how he found out about the Dollhouse -- the "real" head hired a guy (through one of the "Clydes") to appear to Caroline as the boss. This is, of course, the by far least likely scenario, but I do like the psychology of the Boss not letting anyone see his "real" face. (A subset of this scenario is that one of the "clydes" managed to pull an "echo" and get more self aware and take over, hence the need to use a fake in the role of Rossum boss).

Any other basic categories of possible backstories I'm missing?

ETA: one weird thing to account for: being the evil and/or misunderstood genius atop a biotech firm might explain, as someone mentioned, some of how you can make sure no one looks too closely at the disappearance of Priya's rapist, and might also help with creating a cover identity as an-ex cop. But it doesn't explain how that same guy ended up with a very real assortment of cop/military skills that seem to include everything from "normal" cop and army/marine skills to hands-on experience with being a "cleaner." Where, without doll-implants, would he have gotten those skills while building and running his biotech firm?

[ edited by thirdflower on 2010-01-09 04:50 ]
Jossed, right in the head.

Usually couples are given a bit more time for on-screen bliss before one is offed (Jenny, Tara, Fred, Wash, Penny, etc.), but they're on a schedule here and otherwise it's a standard-issue Jossing. Nobody should be TOO surprised.
In the words of Captain Tight Pants, "huh..."
Thirdflower: I think he was head of the company, but he found himself slowly losing power as the company gained power. Maybe the board of directors has gone against him, or maybe Clyde started taking orders from someone else. Alpha?
I feel the need to rewatch every episode of Dollhouse with this new reveal in mind.
I totally forgot that Joss + happy relationships = death :( and by Claire???? But wow I really didn't see the Boyd thing coming.

It's too bad nobody gave this show a chance. My brother asked what I was watching and then he said oh the show about people being prostitutes and doing whatever they want. He then proceeded to say that it just sounded way too stupid to bother watching. Ugh if only people actually watched a show rather than listen to a one sentence summary.
My question is this: What is Alpha in Boyd's scenario? Is he the Catalyst used to prime Echo? The prototype used to see if what he was planning was possible? Or the fly in the ointment... the rogue element which could collapse his house of cards.

Of course, this could also wind up a double bluff. It's possible Boyd was captured and programmed to play the role that Rossum needs him to play, and Whisky reprogrammed with sleeper programming. And the original Caroline wedge being missing may contain the real memory of who the Rossum head is, and the damaged backup wedge reprogrammed with a false memory to go along with the imprinted Boyd.

It's even still possible that Ivy was the one who did all the reprogramming... Clyde 2.0's current form.

That Joss, he keeps us a guessin'
Not digging the low-screen-time of Anthony and Priya (though the rest made up for it, I hardly noticed). It could mean they show up next week to save the day, so that's good.
Now I may actually have the motivation to rewatch the beginning of S1, although my head is spinning and may not stop for almost three weeks. I am intrigued by the talents on-screen and off that allowed me to like Bennet for about two minutes before her end. Did anyone else think that she was uncharacteristically lucid in her last scene? I have to agree emphatically with those above who singled out Fran's work tonight. I hated Topher in the beginning, but between tonight and "Belonging" I may have to re-evaluate the character throughout the series.
Am I the only one who thinks the little girl in Epitath One is Clyde 6.0?
Wowowowowowowowowowow.

So now I'm really thinking that the Echo/Whiskey fight in the teaser is going to end with a certain jealous lover coming to save Echo's ass. "Whiskey, let Echo be first."

I love that I no longer have to sob great gallons of tears when I watch Epitaph One thinking that Whiskey is still waiting for Boyd ten years later. She's a bitch, and she deserves her fate. (Or does she? What's her motivation?)

Not out of empathy, but maybe Topher's right. Shouldn't Bennett still be sitting in a hard drive somewhere? Wouldn't that be standard practice? She's an important asset to Rossum DC.
My quivering mind cannot fully grasp what I just saw. Incredible. And so sad. I loved Bennett (well, I loved Summer Glau AS Bennett). And I love(d) Boyd. Oh dear.

But really, we've only peeled part of the onion, haven't we? Is Boyd really bad?

Oh god. Too much to take in.

Genius.
Did anybody else get a sense of Fred from Bennett in her last few seconds? It was like Fred being taken by Illyria at the same spead we lost Tara. Death even had Amy Acker's face.
Wait, Boyd is Twilight?
Worst episode ever!! I'll see it for the first time when it's on hulu tomorrow.
You mean Ben and Glory are related?
River is made of chocolate?
Arsenal how can you say Whiskey is a bitch? She is a doll who was manipulated by Boyd into being his 'sleeper' killer.... She is innocent. Him? Not so much.

[ edited by embers on 2010-01-09 05:19 ]
Wait -- why would we see that racing-to-pack-before-hightailing-it scene between Boyd and Claire? They were both so worried about their fates. No one else was there to put on an act for. Knowing what we know now about "Boyd," why this scene? Can anyone one make sense of it for me? Was it "Boyd" playacting for Claire because she hasn't been activated yet?

Agreed about Whiskey not necessarily being a bitch. She's a doll who has been manipulated. This actually makes her waiting for Boyd in Epitaph One all the more sad in a way. (But -- wait. Why *is* she waiting for Boyd?! Ack! Crazy confused now. Must stop wildly speculating and just see how it all plays out.)

Poor Whiskey doll. I wonder who she was in life before being put in the chair for the first time.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2010-01-09 05:22 ]
Boyd is Twilight is Ben is..chocolate?
Programmed or not, Saunders LOVED sticking it to Topher like that.

This episode was baked with goodness and then iced with awesome. Bennett is dead! Mellie is back! Boyd is evil! Saunders is back AND evil!

I love how we're seeing Caroline's "origin".

The past few episodes have been epic and are only going to get better.
*waits for Bennett's Terminator brain to reboot next week*
So I think the inclusion of the Boyd/Claire scene from "Epitaph One" was a distraction for the diehards. It's replayed beat-for-beat to let us know that we already know this story, that the writers can't be bothered to surprise us, before completely pulling the rug out from under us not once but twice. The in-universe reason for the scene is unknown--maybe we'll find out?

Oh Bennet. Oh Topher.

Again: I don't know if this episode provided any new insight into Caroline; we already kinda knew she was a terrorist against Rossum, and Bennet already told us that she used people (her!). And Ballard losing his love for Echo is a bit strange because I still don't think we have any clue what those feelings are. A lot depends on how the next episodes play out these two character arcs (Caroline's and Paul's--Mellie's return bodes well) and how Boyd, Claire's motivations play out. But, you know, wow, nonetheless.

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2010-01-09 05:25 ]
Dudes, talked about JOSSED... they TELEGRAPHED Boyd's reveal in "The Attic"! Echo's dream sequence with Boyd...how does he respond when she mentions her friends? He breaks into a startling "Muhaha" laugh, then says with an evil smile and a head-shake, "You don't have any friends here!" (Or something to that effect.)

Joss, you are EVIL.
"Did anybody else get a sense of Fred from Bennett in her last few seconds? It was like Fred being taken by Illyria at the same spead we lost Tara. Death even had Amy Acker's face."

Actually, I got a mad Willow/Buffy feeling from Bennett/Caroline, especially their cute introduction.

"Arsenal how can you say Whiskey is a bitch? She is a doll who was manipulated by Boyd into being his 'sleeper' killer.... She is innocent. Him? Not so much."

Like I said, we really don't know her motivations. But I get a strong impression (especially from the teaser) that she's not a sleeper, and is consciously working for Boyd. Manipulated maybe, but still conscious. Besides, doesn't that make it more interesting, icky and complicated?

[ edited by Arsenal on 2010-01-09 05:27 ]
Double-post snipped

[ edited by EricNJB on 2010-01-09 05:28 ]
I believe Claire was thinking something along the lines of "Miss Bennett speaks out of turn.She's a bad example, and will have no cakes today. Shhhhh!"
My only hope is that Dollhouse ends with such a mind-numbing jolt and fan backlash that Fox looks like fools for cancelling this magnificent show.

Suffice to say, I will never watch any program on Fox EVER again. Want to hurt them more? Scorched earth policy. Write down advertisers on Fox contact them and tell them you will not buy their products. And Rossum thinks Caroline is a terrorist? She's showing the way for us.
Oh and I still don't trust Ivy. She is our only source that Echo's imprint was stolen.

"And Rossum thinks Caroline is a terrorist? She's showing the way for us."

Good, now the NSA is reading whedonesque. Thanks for that. :p

[ edited by Arsenal on 2010-01-09 05:31 ]
Wait, so BENNETT is Glory! Now it all makes sense...
No spoilers, just speculation.

How about this: Boyd's ultimate goal as co-head of Rossum was to develop the ability to imprint oneself with multiple (tens? hundreds? thousands?) personalities, while still retaining your own identity. This would give the user almost God-like knowledge. That's Boyd's endgame!

For whatever reason, the tech was limited to one mental occupant at at time - humans had to be wiped clean, and then imprinted. Perhaps experiments were done - perhaps Alpha himself was an intentional "mistake" - really, an experiment in compositing that failed.

And then came Caroline. For whatever reason, he saw something in her that could/would be the key to his endgame. So, he took her in, he stacked up all the dominoes, he put all the pieces in place, and sure enough, she was able to function as multiple people simultaneously.

Now, he's going to do whatever it is he has to do to get that ability for himself, perhaps dump a million people's worth of knowledge into his head, and become a kind of Superman (think Nietzsche not Clark Kent).

Just one fan's guess at the endgame.

Gut reactions to the ep:

-Someone said this before, but I agree: this has a Season 5 Angel feel to it. A very rapid and satisfying wrapup to the series.

-Ignoring my little theory above, and not to criticize the episode, which I thoroughly enjoyed as much as any episode of BtVS/Angel/Firefly, but I'm hoping (and a bit nervous) for a coherent explanation for why Boyd let the LA Dollhouse Gang get so far into their plot. He permitted the infiltration of the Attic, he let them snatch Bennett, he let Topher reconstruct the Caroline imprint... he even let Echo get in the chair. Why? Bring it home, Mutant Enemy.

-I don't think Whiskey was imprinted to take down Bennett. I think that was the Dr. Saunders from that amazing scene early in this season (the one in the back room with Topher), getting some payback - showing him he's not the only one who can control emotions, not the only one with power.

-Not to troll (or flame, or whatever the slang is) but, note to Lost writers: this is how you wrap up a show.

[ edited by AMCsoldier on 2010-01-09 05:36 ]
I'm still curious about Whiskey's origin...who was she before becoming an Active? I've thought she was bad for awhile- since Dominic's reveal of her Active name as he was getting prepped for the Attic the first time- the way he called out to her seemed like he knew that she was Aware (I also thought it looked like he loved her!) His appearance in tonight's episode was a bit abrupt.
Did anyone else get a whiff of Buffy when Echo left after Bennett and Topher were canoodiling?

Also, how long do you think they've known about this? Since the beginning? I'm so curious to when this development was... well, developed. So many answers. I cannot wait until the Dollhouse post mortem interviews (except that the show will be over and all).

I also love that even though I'm a huge spoiler lover, none of the ending was spoilered for me and I loved every minute of it. Thank you Joss and co for not letting this one leak.
I think Boyd let everything happen as it has so far because he needs Echo/Caroline, hence why he only revealed himself while Caroline was being returned. So he let everyone in the Dollhouse think they were going to beat Rossum or do their best in the war, only for him to get everything that he needed.
Bennett will never know that Caroline was actually protecting her. Wow. That's actually quite heart wrenching.
Immediate reaction, granted I'm wasted and sleep deprived was: 'Boyd! What the fuck??'. Mid-sobs.

I hope he really is the clear cut asshole leader of rossum rather than an adelle-ish fakeout. It was an extremely powerful reveal and it'd be a shame to ruin that.

Also never experienced fanboyism until Topher, so well done Dollhouse. I'll just go on pretending he likes men.
Caroline has to be in on Boyds plan, why else would he have her brought to his office? he has to tell her something Echo would need to know
Alpha is Twilight?
Can't form thoughts, too much awesome.
nuccbko: I totally agree... that was the one thing that really pissed me off about her death. :(
"You forced me to come to Arizona. I loathe Arizona."

In that moment, Adelle was Miss Parker.
whaaaaaaaat? that was awesome- topher/bennet, claire, BOYD- I could just list every character for tonight.

though my favorite line was probably when victor says "gingersnap" to the sleeper for the code. AWESOME. otherwise, i have no coherent words.
Poor Whiskey, always number two in men's hearts to number one Echo.
I think Claire's killing Bennet was simply about hurting Topher and had little or nothing to do with the plan whatever that may be.
I can't remember "Echoes" but wasn't Boyd proven to be not an active in that one. Like Adelle, Topher and Dominic.
I think Boyd is Boyd and always has been nothing sleeper about him. Just a fake backstory to put him where he wanted to be.
Gotta admit the reveal floored me.
I won't lie I was sure Topher had just set Ivy free for us to learn its her, lol. Classic story telling set someone up as a "bad guy" only to reveal it was misdirection so we don't see them as an actual "bad guy". And since "Spy In the House of Love" I've been waiting for that card to be played with Ivy and I'm glad to be wrong.
Also I think Bennett was angry with Carloine because she made it clear that she picked her no matter what and Caroline didn't. She knew that Caroline had saved her, she didn't want to be saved she wanted to be taken prisoner with the only person who'd ever shown her true attention. Caroline broke her heart is all. Point being I don't think there were any misunderstandings on Bennett's end.
...

Imagine if they aired five full seasons before pulling the trigger on that.
Am I the only one who thinks the little girl in Epitath One is Clyde 6.0?

The actor playing Clyde has already been revealed.

Crazy thought, and I'm not sure where I'm necessarily going with this: I was never comfortable with the idea that it was Dom who was corrupting Echo and November's imprints in Man on the Street and... was it A Spy in the House of Love? How would Dom know how to use the equipment? And we knew it wasn't Alpha because Echo said it was the first time that they had contacted Paul.

Anyways, what if was Boyd? Maybe he was trying to get Paul into the Dollhouse to protect Echo? I mean, only he would know the true nature of Rossum's purpose.

Just a theory. It's probably wrong, but was just something I was thinking about.
Topher's line about wanting Ivy to keep her brains in her head made me cry. Everything else I feel about this ep is listed above my post. Basically: WTF?
I support your theory, nuccbko. A lot.
I hope Harry Lennix enjoyed playing the caper in that episode as much as I enjoyed watching it. Sure, shocked, but Boyd's been pretty low-key of late and now I know why. I swear I almost heard Gomer Pyle in my head: "Surprise, surprise, surprise". Rather than Saunders offing Bennett, I kept thinking Bennett was going to off Topher. Every time he sat next to her I got nervous because, well, she was uptight nuts. Then it got sweet. Then the rug got pulled out and we all broke our legs on the hardwood floor underneath. I'm sending Mutant Enemy my doctor bill. Ever so sweetly. :=)
Totally!! Joss and Tim, and technically Eliza since she kickstarted this need to pay our therapy bills after this. How the hell will we be able to trust anyone ever again? I kinda almost don't want to leave the house! LOL
Ok, so in Ghost when Caroline says "I was just trying to take my place in the world, like SHE always said:" that's Bennett, no?

If that wasn't the intention, I doubt there's much time for another explanation.
I'm finding Paul Ballard+November/Madeleine to be more annoying than anything else...
Boyd! Holy CRAP. I thought he was just like an ex-Mafia guy or something, but DANG. This makes me wonder whether Joss was going to do something similar with Book if there had been time. And I am so sad for Topher. And my favorite line ever was Adelle with "You made me come to Arizona. I loathe Arizona." Hehe. Also, all the River references at the beginning, with the killing people with her brain and the getting very crowded. Awesome. I'm just going to go and try to get my heart rate back to normal now.
Also, why does everyone think Whiskey was PROGRAMMED to kill Bennett. I mean she HATED Topher, and killing Bennett didn't really serve the company considering she was their #1 asset. If it had to do with her being compromised, then she would have killed Echo, Topher and especially Adelle. She despised Topher and found the perfect way to take her revenge on him.

Honestly, it was not nearly as effective as past deaths mostly because there was no real development of Topher and Bennett's relationship--they were just in their fledgling stages of romance. However, I guess since there was no order for a full season there was no time to properly execute another Joyce/Tara/Wash.
Hate is made up of many things sometimes. Including love and jealousy. I used to be Number 1. Why even bring it up unless she can't stand the fact that the man who used to work on her brain, Ms. Number 1, is now obviously kicked to the curb for a replacement. And not a Doll.
I don't know, iwearthecheese. For tech-geeks like Topher & Bennet, perhaps 20 minutes of story-sharing and years of admiring is all it takes to be in love. We knew Topher has had a crush on her for quite some time. Xander was crushed when Buffy died in Season 1, and he only knew her for a semester (and they never *got together*).

DO you think they'll ever tell us if Whiskey was programmed or if she just wanted to? Maybe it's like what Dominic says in E1 after he takes a walk outside- the world had gone to shit so people didn't seem to find the need to restrain themselves in doing what they wanted (something with a grown man acting like a little girl). Maybe Whiskey stuck it to Topher because she knew it was unlikely that things would get better.

I don't think Whiskey is a sleeper. I think Boyd loved her and she him. I mean, a cut-up doctor doesn't really play well into his hands, ya know? And if Boyd wanted Bennet dead, he could have done that at any time.

Maybe that's the real tragedy. Because of what Whiskey does, the gang assumes she's a sleeper when she's not, and sacrifice her to her E1 fate when there's still a chance that Boyd could come back (to an empty shell).
Well, we still need an explanation for Caroline's "How did it get this far?" in that exchange with Adelle, which I suppose we all thought for a long time was about the Rossum guards killing her boyfriend during their break-in.

I suspect we'll find out from the rest of her conversation with Boyd and the pacified Clyde-doll.
Curiosity here.

Does anyone think that Paul was in love with Echo? Ever? I know Echo loved him (that was obvious) and that they were friends, but the girl's got a point- Paul didn't believe she was real, just waiting for Caroline to come home to roost.

Topher & Echo assumed that they took away his love for her, but what if they just took away his love in general? No desire, no yearning... just memories cliff-noted together.

I'm hoping that attempt to spell out what he's lost was a misdirection. It seemed as though none of them *really* know what they've done to him, so only Paul himself can answer what he's lost. Yes? Here's hoping.
korkster, I don't deny potential feelings between Bennett and Topher, I just don't feel like we got to know their feelings for eachother well at all. Much like the feelings between Boyd and Whiskey--the only way I would care if either of them blew up or was shot in the heart/brain/liver is if someone blew the soul of Illyria in her face and then Boyd peeled off his flesh to reveal he's actually Daniel Perrin/Wesley Wyndam-Pryce first.

edit: I just noticed you live in El Cajon--I moved from there just last year. What a coincidence.

Also, I do think Topher took away the part of his brain that allows for him to feel deeper emotions about people in general beyond general liking--not just whatever he felt for Echo.

[ edited by iwearthecheese on 2010-01-09 08:16 ]

[ edited by iwearthecheese on 2010-01-09 08:18 ]
Loved it. There were a few scenes that felt a little expository or forced/rushed, as there have been in every ep since Belonging. Seems to me like a function of the rushed plotting (although I know they didn't actually know they were canceled until recently).

Everything else was great though. Wonderful twists and plot developments, not to mention character stuff. And for such a dark episode, Minear gave us some of the funniest lines of the entire series. Too many to even quote.
I think I'll use this show and this episode in particular as my example of why I have a Joss obsession. Granted, people will need to watch the previous 23 episodes first to completely understand. But anyway, no other show has ever done this to me the way Joss's do.

After Claire shot Bennett I couldn't breathe. After that, and the Boyd reveal, I was in shock and didn't move for a good sixty seconds, just trying to process it. I feel soooo sad for Topher. To see him so happy, followed by the image of him coming back into the room and just standing there. *heart, broken*

Not going to think too much about Boyd. I'm gonna wait to see what is revealed next week.

How can a show keep making a new best episode every week. Is that even possible?

Well done, Mr. Minear. Well done.
Also, I do think Topher took away the part of his brain that allows for him to feel deeper emotions about people in general beyond general liking--not just whatever he felt for Echo.

Except that Topher mentions that what he needed was recent stuff, fresh stuff. That's more specific than a general ability to feel.
EB: my computer sucks

[ edited by guidedby on 2010-01-09 08:27 ]
"Except that Topher mentions that what he needed was recent stuff, fresh stuff. That's more specific than a general ability to feel."

Yes, plus it also seemed like his feeling were Mellie were stronger; almost like his feelings for Echo/Caroline were no longer obstructing his feelings for Mellie.
EB: my computer still sucks

[ edited by guidedby on 2010-01-09 08:27 ]
Except that Topher mentions that what he needed was recent stuff, fresh stuff. That's more specific than a general ability to feel.
In which case, I doubt recent feelings can be catalogued to any particular functional portion of the brain. If they're brushing it off as his "recent feelings for Echo", that would be kind of messy writing.
He may need fresh stuff, bix, but do you buy that Topher cut out specifically his feelings for Echo? If so, could you show me where Paul ever really loved Echo? Caroline, I get. But not Echo.
Topher never said it was just his feelings for Echo, nor that he was knowingly removing feelings for Echo (although he might have sussed that). All he said was that he needed to make use of fresh brain stuff (maybe specifically fresh emotional stuff, I don't know). It just happens that the freshest emotional stuff in Paul's head was Echo.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-01-09 08:32 ]
I can see them taking away the memories of Echo & Paul in the apartment (when they were the closest)... leaving him with just the old memories (which would explain his draw toward Mellie. That is fickle, isn't it. When he said that he just watched her walk away, that could explain the Madeline moment OR the Mellie moment (she's walked away from him quite a lot).

I also got the feeling that Paul doesn't really know who Caroline is. When Echo joked about Paul finally getting to meet Echo, he made some nonsense joke about 4th grade markers or something... like he didn't realize his obsession for her?

That part just feels off, and I'm hoping it gets explained before the series end. Paul hasn't gotten much love this season, which is unfortunate because I always thought his character earned validation. Hope he gets it.
Thanks bix. I get the "fresh stuff" bit. I just think/hope that Paul's got more on his mind than just Echo. It just seems off to me, which I guess is why I keep hoping they're all still guessing, and we still don't know for sure what they took from him.
Saunders killing Bennett has to be a trigger. Besides the fact they mentioned it as such, she's scarless in the Dollhouse later, on friendly terms with Echo/Caroline, and Caroline's happy to see her when she's imprinted into the little girl.
Dudes, talked about JOSSED... they TELEGRAPHED Boyd's reveal in "The Attic"! Echo's dream sequence with Boyd...how does he respond when she mentions her friends? He breaks into a startling "Muhaha" laugh, then says with an evil smile and a head-shake, "You don't have any friends here!" (Or something to that effect.)

Joss, you are EVIL.
EricNJB

Amazing - I hadn't even caught that yet. In my defense, I was still piecing back together my brain.

This does provoke a further thought for me, however: if Boyd appeared in a villainous role in Echo's early time in the Attic, at which point she was still at least mostly in her own head, does that mean that she retained some of Caroline's memory of evil!Boyd on a deep level, or was that an old, submerged memory of Clyde's invading from the Attic mainframe? Maybe even though he can't consciously remember, he's been integrated for long enough to outsource his own subconscious to newer, less important nodes in the system, like Echo. What do you think, group mind?

Also, hey - Whedonesque seems to have a narrower quote-box-width now.
Dollhouse plotting loose end #2573: How did Dominic actually get out of the Attic?

1) He used the Echo/Anthony/Priya method of dying in the Attic, as a result of someone else's simulation/presence, and, unlike Priya and Anthony didn't start dying immediately, and unlike Echo could bust out of his saran wrap physically (I get that there are no orderlies present because Echo knocked them out, natch)

2) Clyde, now that he had a partner and knowing about the Echo method (1), came up with a way to get Dom out without requiring him to flatline, so that he can use his physical strength to bust out

3) Boyd got him out, but in such a way that Dom didn't know, because he wanted Adelle to have warning for some reason; Dominic himself as well as Adelle et al. were too distracted by the crazy goings-on to think about the implication of Dom getting out

4) Joss, Tim et al. forgot that getting out of the Attic is basically impossible

Joss, Tim, staff: you know I love you and you make the best shows ever, but can you keep your mythology straight from ep to ep, please?
Having just rewatched E1, I guess Whiskey does have to be a trigger. There is still a LOT to achieve before this lines up with the E1 timeline.

1.)They all have to return to their jobs at the DH LA.
2.) Victor and Sierra have to be composited with all of their engagement memories. They also have a falling out.
3.) Whiskey has to be brought back into the fold and her scars fixed.
4.) Mr. Ambrose has to be on talking terms with Topher and Adele to present them his "final solution."
5.) All of the freed dolls have to be returned, or new Dolls have to be acquired to populated DH LA.

If all of this is still in the future of the series, it really speaks volumes about the success of their current "war" against Rossum, right?

Head. Hurt.
That ep was cray cray. I have no thoughtful insights or interesting points, but when Whiskey walked into the room and shot Bennett, I literally screamed "WHAT THE WHAT!?". My dad was in the room. Embarrassing. We had just seen Daybreakers, and he screamed like a girl, so we're even. Anyways, lovely Firefly reference, and there were some pretty awesome lines, ie. "I loathe Arizona". Salutations!
Okay, so I figured it out.

Boyd is Ben is Bennett is Glory.

Now it all makes sense now. ;)

My reaction is: Sigh. I love Topher. His character and character development is my biggest reason for watching this show now. I'm so glad so much involves him.

I'm sorry about Bennett, but I had a feeling something like that was going to happen. And Joss likes to add the blood splattering everywhere, especially the lover (a la Willow). It's sad that I'm getting desensitized to Joss-death.

I'm not so sure about the Boyd reveal. Right now it's too unbelievable for me to believe, and confused me more than anything. I thought that for some reason Boyd was in that office with that other guy doing some sort of security thing, and then I was like, "Hey wait, I think he's supposed to BE somebody..." I have such a hard time with the concept that I'm going to need the next episode to help me understand. And I really don't think Joss 'knew' this from the beginning, so I feel like it's a little cheap. But maybe he'll be able to explain evil-Boyd and all the reasons we all love Boyd, and maybe I'll get it then.
Arsenal:

We know that the E1 flashbacks are merely memories, so there are quite a few things that might not pan out. I feel as if Adelle's reference to Clive Ambrose being in multiple bodies might be meant as a nod to the E1 scene he appears in, a hint of where a false memory might have come from.

Even if the memories are legit, there was nothing in the Priya/Anthony scenes in E1 that suggested to me that they had composited or had memories of their engagements.

As far as I'm concerned, the only things that are absolutely canon and that we can trust in E1 are the scenes in the present. So that means that the world is going to go to hell, somehow. And Whisky will be in the L.A. Dollhouse, with her scars fixed.
It's now up at the Fox site, I added the link to the entry.
@Arsenal/WilliamTheB: The scene with Clive could have occurred well before where we currently are in the timeline right? Adelle takes a pass and retains Victor, she and Topher keep it between themselves and Rossum makes a check in the naughty column for a punishment to be named later.

I'm in the Saunders isn't a sleeper, she shot Bennett because she hates Topher camp. Fix the scars, "fix" the part of her brain that hates Topher, leave her in the Dollhouse.
So, Tim's first home run didn't just get hit out of the park, it's probably orbiting Jupiter. Hoping that the Boyd twist has been long planned and wasn't just pulled out of ME's ass to wrap things up. They've got some 'splainin' to do, for sure - about Boyd's cop skills, his incredibly long con and so on, but if they can pull off a plausible explanation, they've got a shot at the best epic ending of any ME series ever.

The Topher; "Ow!" Bennett: "Sorry." on repeat is never gonna get old. Jesus, those two were AMAZING together.

I could buy Saunders's murder of Bennett being a way to punish Topher and not sleeper progamming kicking in. Except, Saunders going as far as murdering someone is a level of magnitude more crazy than she was at the beginning of the season and would require more retcon than we've gotten so far.

Now we know, when Dominic put a gun to Adelle's head in Epitaph One, what his comment about what she'd done to his body meant. Nice.

Doing justice to all the characters and their arcs in two episodes is gonna be tough. So I understand that getting Ivy out and shooting (sob) Bennett helps on a story level, but it hurts anyway. There go two of my favorite characters.

I will be rewatching this one a lot, just to get all the character goodness and lines I didn't quite catch, plus to see if I can figure if this all fits together.
My friend has seen Epitaph 1 with me, watched a bit of the Public Eye/Left Hand combo, and then watched about 20 minutes of tonight, and wants to watch the rest of the series with me now. I'm stoked to share all this with her!

Really terrific episode, poor Bennett. I really liked her, a lot. I'm glad Ivy is safe though, at least I choose to believe she got out safely because it's what I want.
I have no idea how you found it on the FOX site. I've been reloading them every few minutes for an hour or more and even when you tweeted it, I couldn't find it on their site. Very weird.
If Adelle screwed Ambrose on keeping Victor's body, there would have to be ramifications. Ambrose would find out.

I accept that the other memories might be fake. Still, we know that Caroline placed them there, and at least some of them are confirmed.

Let's not even address the several inches of hair that Adelle is going to have to grow back before the world ends. :)

Edit: In the Priya/Victor flashback, Priya mentions dealing with one of her more annoying personalities, and implies that the sensation of sharing her brain is new.

[ edited by Arsenal on 2010-01-09 09:27 ]
I noticed in the Boyd/Saunders E1 scene this time, they edited out the pill bottle falling to the floor.
Edit: In the Priya/Victor flashback, Priya mentions dealing with one of her more annoying personalities, and implies that the sensation of sharing her brain is new.

Actually, she says is "I don't want to be in there with them. Too much talk makes the headaches worse", which is in response to Anthony saying she should be in the bed chambers with the others. Then she references Juliet, which is one of the NATO letters and so likely another doll.
Joss, I know you frequent this board, so on the off-chance your eyes are currently scanning these words -- I am one of those people who five minutes into a show, the thought unbidden comes into my mind, "Ah, that seemingly inconsequential line that guy just said -- he's the killer." And, sure enough, at show's end, the killer is that guy. My brain's just unconsciously cataloged all the various tropes and deduces the pattern far too early on.

When I saw the reveal at the end of tonight's episode, my jaw quite literally dropped, my lungs involuntarily sucked in and held a breath, and I just sat there in utter shock for a few seconds, and then delightedly (but quietly, as I was watching this around two in the morning) started repeating "holy !@#$%" over and over again.

I think this may be the very first time I have been so utterly, completely, and totally shocked by such an entirely unexpected plot twist.

Joss Whedon, you magnificent bastard. Thank you.
Well, Priya mentions difficulty dealing with the annoying JULIET, but that's a doll's name. I rechecked the Anthony/Priya scene in E1 and I couldn't find any evidence that she's got multiple personalities. Sounds like she's all-Priya.
Hm. Yeah. Where does Ambrose-Victor fit in?

I always thought the Dominic body thing was an allusion to SITHOL. No?
Oh Ambrose would totally know. Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Ambrose the one talking to Adelle about the Ms. Lonely Hearts imprint a few eps back? There was some sort of line about Ms. LH not being the worst of her sins. I figure a guy like Ambrose wouldn't go all knee jerk with his ramifications if he didn't have to. More opportunity for damage in the long run, best served cold, etc.

Isn't Juliet the one leading the group prayer circle thingy in E1?

As for the hair, I'm currently in the process of growing out the identical style. At this rate it'll take about 2 years. :)

[ edited by MadeToLoveJoss on 2010-01-09 09:42 ]
There was some sort of line about Ms. LH not being the worst of her sins.

That was Matthew Harding.
The Boyd reveal left me silent. In an open-jaw, turned to toothy grin WTF kind of way. :)
Ah, thanks b!X. Nevermind then! :)
Re "loose end #2573: How did Dominic actually get out of the Attic?"...

Granted that the L.A. part of the Attic is part of a larger neurological web, and that the Rossum technicians running it are not necessarily in on her revolution. (Even so, Ambrose has come to figure out that the Los Angeles data center has been somewhat compromised.)

But the Attic in Adelle's Dollhouse is in a physical space that she controls. Echo going in and out with greater difficulty was at an earlier stage of the conspiracy, under deeper cover. Opening sufficient loopholes later to ensure Dominic could get word out if he needed to would have been a plausible move - hey, if that's the biggest loophole we have to admit to let this story hang together, I'll be very pleasantly surprised.
And the end is out of control.

Foiled ya.

All these press releases indicating a happy cast reunion right to the end.... Yeah. We're on the roller coaster at this point, but out of the safety of the cart.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-01-09 10:26 ]
So Bennett's not coming back to life next ep? NOOOOOOOOO!
So Claire is Twilight???

I hate Joss, BTW. In a good way. OK, maybe in a not-so-good way, since he keeps killing nice defenseless girls! coughTaracough

I loved the line: "Relax, I'm not a thief. I'm a terrorist.", then... well I have a theory: Joss and his gang are trying to kill everyone in the audience with these three episodes, so no one will notice that DH has been canceled.
Speculation re who took Caroline's imprint wedge - Alpha has past form in this department, and he had the motive and presumably plenty of opportunity during "A Love Supreme". (Although possibly not the means, a wedge in his pocket might have compromised the careful cut of that suit...)

This seems to fit snugly with the ongoing hypothesis that Boyd has been running Echo as an experiment in compositing, a prototype before using the technology himself - his plans hence lined up with those of our gang up to the point of getting Caroline back into Echo. Even if he started as an earlier experiment of Boyd's, Alpha is a wildcard genuinely outside of Boyd's control - otherwise e.g. seems unlikely his agent Connell would have put an arrow through Boyd in "The Target".

Got to despair at that man Brink's data storage policies, though. When both your copies of vital files disappear, and you are then fortunate to get the original back again, surely that's your cue to start making redundant off-site back-ups?
Awww. I hope Priya or Victor somehow had a credit card (especially since they'll be back soon for the next ep). Spending the night together in a cardboard box behind a dumpster definitely isn't romantic enough.
wedges arnt cheap, everyone has a budget
I knew those press releases weren't accurate even when I was told otherwise. lol
Those last 20mins had me biting my nails. Oh, well. I'll postpone that resolution till next year.

I was more shocked at Claire than Boyd... Still fuzzy on what the twist is, but I'm leaning towards him not being a complete bad guy. Pwease, Joss?

Funny kissing by Topher & Bennet. :D

Lino: I have a theory: Joss and his gang are trying to kill everyone in the audience with these three episodes, so no one will notice that DH has been canceled.

Yeah, that's how it looks. It's a pity. I wanted to see the end of Lost before I died. ;)
FWIW: the first time we see the arm-numbing scene, it's from Bennett's perspective, making Caroline the villain. This is the second time we've seen the arm-numbing scene, and it makes out Caroline to be the hero -- but that's from Caroline's perspective.

I don't think we'll ever see a straight-up 'this is the way it happened' version of the scene.
I didn't think it made Caroline out to be the hero. She left her best friend looking critically wounded and basically tried to escape. She used Bennett to get into the building. She tried to blow up the building for idealogical reasons.

Caroline is a terrorist. Probably best not to reimprint her in the middle of the Dollhouse.

[ edited by gossi on 2010-01-09 11:08 ]
Joss mentioned having a 5 year arc planned. He also said they had to fudge a few things when they got picked up, because Epitaph 1 was written as a stand-in finale and now they had to get there -- and while doing so, assuming that there wouldn't be a season 3. This means that in order to end the series they needed to get to the Apocalypse, but that meant that flash forwards meant to take place over 5 years all now had to be from within 2 years' span. Many things had to be lost or skipped.

The Russian girl mission with Paul as her handler becomes a dream in the Attic, Victor being taken by Ambrose must be assumed to have already occurred or is possibly a false memory, and somehow Boyd and Whiskey have that conversation even though it makes no sense... and it occurs to me Boyd and she may not be talking about Rossum (which would entail Whiskey acting separately), but about Adelle and the others. Or about the rest of Rossum. Corporations tend to not be bound by their CEOs.

But what I really think is going on is either killing Bennett bought them time to get Boyd in the room with Caroline alone, or killing Bennett was Saunders not wanting Boyd to get what he was after because then he wouldn't need her anymore.
Yeah I think the version of events we saw in the flashbacks tonight was the accurate one. What was a nice piece of writing was the one line of dialogue left out of Bennett's memory. Caroline DID say, "If I stay we both get nabbed," but tonight we saw what she said as she walked out, "this way only I do." Which was the twist. What's cool is it makes Caroline look way more sympathetic, but the situation is still bad enough that we can understand why Bennett was so upset.

Just rewatched those breathtaking last ten minutes. Lots of great details there. Loved how Topher's blood-splattered hands recalled Belonging, while his posture and Adelle's motherly attitude recalled Epitaph One.

Loved the way the blood spray on the monitor looked as Ivy sat in front of it, creating a warning of what might happen to her that inspired Topher to act.

Loved Paul's line about Boyd being in love with a sleeper active, "he'll have to adjust," which was both funny and creepy, especially with Mellie standing right there.

Love that little look Mr. Dominic gives Caroline as the elevator door closes. Not to mention how badass Adelle is with the long hair and that coat in the flashbacks.

Love Caroline's "I hate tea." This is presumably before Adelle has sat her down for her tea room negotiation though?

And I loved the final "with your life," which takes on an entirely new context and becomes very disturbing here. Like others have said, it totally makes you want to go back and rewatch season one for clues.

And, also like others have said, this great reveal would have been even greater after three-five full seasons of build up.
Well, with that many seasons of build up, it would be much, much harder to tie up the loose ends. We must remember that they were written up until episode 11 when they got news of the cancellation, and Miracle Laurie stated in an interview recently that everyone on set thought they'd get the back 9 through Hulu views, iTunes, DVR, etc. and were surprised when they didn't, and were canceled. There was probably a lot more planned we'll never get to see.
Thankfully, few people were shocked by what happened to Bennett. That was an easy call, and as soon as they kissed it was a given, and that is, shamefully, so predictably Jossian that it had no resonance whatsoever. My wife really loves this show, and I remember at the beginning telling her, look, there are only 2 more eps after this so someone is going to die in this one, and it won't be the first person who you think it will be (in this case, Boyd after he was shot). And when Boyd was shot and did not die, and we knew Caroline/Echo was going to see the bigger bad, I knew then it was going to be Boyd she would see- it had to be someone we knew well, because any newbie would make no sense. So all of this is predictable. For all that, and for all I am not invested in the show, I think it has been hitting its mark much better and this was a really good ep; I also think Summer Glau can act circles around Eliza Dushku (and anyone else), but that's just a personal opinion. Caroline seems not worth really rooting for any more.

BTW, did anyone get the impression that the fellow Caroline first saw when she went upstairs, Rossum, was Topher, even though it was different body? Or perhaps Topher is just another imprint, in this case of Rossum. Same mannerisms and vocal patterns. If Topher ends up the big bad (as Rossum or as Rossum doppleganger), I could see why Whiskey would shoot Bennet Halvorson if Topher was falling for her and Whiskey hated Topher/Rossum. Oh boy, this sounds like Ben and Glory. I am not making much sense, I know.
Dana, how will Lost end? I need to know!
gossi, lmao!

I figure you might know more than anyone. Is Joss real? Can we trust him? Really trust him? He kind of scares me now. ;)
I got tears of awesomeness, really
I made no secret that I didn't like the show during season one. I love it now.

And I love it because knowing there was so little time (I'm sure even before the official cancellation) everything tightened up and turned into a roller-coaster ride and became awesome. I'm not crying about the time that's not left, I'm rejoicing for what we finally got.
While trying to repair Echo's wedge Ivy said, "I can do this. I can do this." It sounded like a Bennet mannerism to me and I thought that maybe she had imprinted herself with Bennet's intellect as a way to continue Bennet's world-saving work (and gain power and possibly Topher's affection).

But that never played out... (so far).
I got tears of awesomeness, really


I got tears of awesomeness from The Attic, but I definitely got mega creepy chills from this episode, and those are of course the best kind of chills.
I do not know joss so can not confirm he is real.

The thing I like about this episode: all the Dolls get imprinted and sent home. Echo and Paul have taken down the 'house. Which, in theory, massive moment for them. They did it. Except it's not a massive moment in the show due to the 15 other things going on.
Didn't anybody catch Mike Massa as the DC doll getting "ghost-chaired"?
OMG, just wow. Sooo did not see that coming, very Joss. Not quite sure how it fits as yet that Boyd is the person they want to take down, yet he's been helping them take it down?

Also loved the "she could kill you with her brain" line and then getting killed bullet in the brainpan squish style.
Just watched. Wow!

Somehow I have missed the "Twilight" references. When does the show mention a mystery character named Twilight?

Re: Boyd/Claire, a few random thoughts. Has Boyd had a plan for Claire from the beginning? - This would explain why her scars were not fixed, when Victor's were. Was her running away then part of the plan? I don't think that Boyd wanted Bennett shot just because she was fixing Caroline's wedge. If killing Bennett or being sure that Caroline could not be resurrected were critical, wouldn't Boyd have stayed to be sure it was done? Therefore, either Boyd wanted Bennett killed for some other reason, and Claire made sure Bennett was "almost done" fixing the wedge (so that Topher could finish fixing the wedge) before shooting her - or - Claire is actually working at cross-purposes to Boyd, leading him on that she is working with him while really being programmed by someone else to be on the other side. We see that she is in a doll-like state in E1, so whatever she is doing or knows now is wiped by then.
gossi, but you know ppl who know him. Can they confirm?
Incidentally, it's on hulu now: http://www.hulu.com/watch/118522/dollhouse-getting-closer
Wow. They're really cramming it in there now. It was very messy but very brilliant.

The messy stuff- mainly to do with Ballard. It might come together later, and yes he's been made into a doll, but Mellie's appearance was awkward, as was his hand on her back, as were his meetings with Echo. I just don't feel like the situation between those 3 characters worked at all. I suppose it gets very difficult to humanise and make real a 'love triangle' between three imprinted personalities...

[ edited by fivebyfivefaith on 2010-01-09 15:50 ]
"You forced me to come to Arizona. I loathe Arizona."

That hurt my feelings. I live here. I love Arizona.
Personally, I'm wondering what the heck Boyd (if that is his real name) has planned for his endgame.

The most plausible thing I can come up with is actually a fairly benevolent one, if with a rather large amount of moral greyness.

He knows (because he's got Clyde 1.0 crunching the numbers for it in the Attic) that Rossum's tech is going to lead almost inevitably to the end of civilisation, which is pretty certainly a bad thing for everyone. He can't just destroy Rossum and be done with it because either the rest of the board would stop him, or that somebody else would eventually invent (or steal) the same tech anyway. It's like the atomic bomb; the potential was always there in the physics, it was just a question of who would make it practical first.

The only thing to do is to develop a method of resisting imprinting, to neutralise the effect of the tech. It could well be that Boyd is the person ultimately responsible for the creation of Safe Haven. Just not soon enough to rescue civilisation. Hence Caroline / Echo, possibly?
Just adding my OMGs to all the rest of the collective gasps that were heard around the Whedonsphere.

Such brilliant writing. You never know what you're getting with Joss. OMFG!

Lots and lots of questions and I declare that I will be patient till next week.

Sigh!
I agree with you aiuspsi. Boyd was the first to invent the tech, and I think the idea is that he will be the first to develop a way to neutralize the effects, via Echo. Also agree with the atom bomb parallel. Topher invents/improves the tech and the remote wipe b/c he is intelletually curious but without fully realizing the implications, at least early on. But if he hadn't, someone else would have done so eventually.
Anyone else notice that the backdrop in Clyde/Boyd's office looks like the cityscape from the Dollhouse title logo (with Dushku on top of a busy city)?
Not gonna repeat everything you guys already said, but... Brilliant!!!

Firefly ref, and some lines like "Damn, I just had that replaced." made me giggle! SOOOO good!

And all the twists! OMG, OMG!!!
When Claire shoot Bennet I said an out loud "WTF?", which I don't usually do. Usually my reactions are silent. But this called for it.

I don't mind the memories redeeming Caroline... I don't really like her anyway. I did like her
"friendship" with Bennet though, even if it was fake. And the puking thing to get the table was funny. =P

Edited to add:

For the ones saying "Bennet dying was predicable"... oh shush!!

Yes, we all knew someone was dying.
Yes, if you think about it, Bennet was the most obvious victim.

SO WHAT? I was still shocked when Claire shoot her.
And still was a kick-ass scene, so... I don't care AT ALL about the "of course Bennet would die!" thing.

[ edited by maxsummers on 2010-01-09 17:35 ]
AMCsoldier: Yes! I did notice that too!
Tim Minear's status on Facebook says:
When you have that many brunette girls with similar hairdos in an episode, it's best to have at least one put a bullet in another's brainpan. Just so Grandma stops going "Now which one is she again?"


Tim, ever the practical writer. ;-)
gossi- don't know, don't watch Lost. It, uh, lost me after S1.

Point here is that once you know Joss' writing and plotting strategies, it is often easy to predict some elements of a storyline. We all know people will die in the telling, and we had clues from Epitaph 1 of who was still alive at that time; thus, picking Bennett was not a real stretch, not when you know Joss kills off people, usually women, just after they realize they like or love someone. Same for Boyd being a big bad; it had to be an insider, and it could not be Adelle nor Paul, so who was left? I still think Topher might be in play. I was not being snarky or supercilious about figuring this all out; I just really meant that it seemed pretty easy to predict all of it.
Yes, if you think about it, Bennet was the most obvious victim.

Not at all. Joss has killed off much more significant characters. Bennet only really became important in this episode.

At this point, the series is done and there's no reason not to take an axe to major characters George R. R. Martin style, if it suits the story.
OHMYGOD. That episode blew my mind. And seriously Joss, 2 couples broken up in one episode alone?! Why do I not see Victor and Sierra lasting much longer? Bennetts death made me think of Taras, cause Topher got splattered with blood and all. Also, Whiskey, I missed you but now I hate you. And I can't believe Boyd is in charge! I'm so confused now! Can't wait for the last two episodes. This season just keeps getting better and better. Screw you Fox.

On a side note, I have that swivel chair that was in Bennett/Carolines dorm room. Its from ikea :)
Our local Fox station had transmission difficulties and chunks of dialogue and story were blurred. I'll have to watch it on hulu to see if I liked it. Curious, the parts I did see, didn't impress me that much. for instance, Echo sending Sierra and Victor away, rang phoney to me. Where's Buffy out marshaling her resources? Instead, Echo is sending people off. In fact, most people were sending members of the team away. It didn't strike me as noble, it struck me as a dumb thing to do right when you need everyone for the fight.
The episode that the senator found out he was a doll resonated with me so hard, that it totally flipped my neutral feelings toward Dollhouse and made me a fan. None of the episodes since then has come up to that one in my opinion.

Someone, somewhere, on the internets conjectured that Boyd was the main Rossumm guy so that one didn't surprise me. Bennett getting shot was upsetting, but it's become so common for Joss to do that kind of thing that the only thing that would be truly surprising anymore is if he let Victor and Sierra have a happy ending.
I THINK I've read through every comment, so I'm sorry if I overlooked anyone else guessing this, but: I'm thinking Boyd isn't so bad, and that he really wants to take down Rossum, too. He got Caroline into the house, without Adelle knowing really why, knowing she had the brain and drive to do it. And once inside, too, he could help them achieve this. Though as others have said, having Boyd just be pretend bad (like Adelle so many times this season), wouldn't be as fun as really evil Boyd.
Boyd as the guy seems very much like something Joss has come up with to wrap up the series around. I'd never believe for a second unless he was saying it in an interview that that's who Boyd was from day one, either in the "Echo" or "Ghost" version of launching the series. And if he did, I'd be scrutinizing every bit of his body language and expression to see how badly he's bluffing.

That said, it could still be pretty cool, but it rings just slightly false to me.
Coming out of the xmas season, I'm sure a lot of us heard this line for the umpteenth time: "If these shadows remain unaltered the child will die..."

Events we are seeing do not have to absolutely correlate with "Epitaph One" because (I think) the "One" in the title always suggested a possible nightmare future, like Scrooge's future visions. As a finale to the series, E1 does a good job of serving as a sort of warning of possible futures, and with the second season of the series, it is (I think) even cooler, because it forces us to look at each episode's events and ask "does this take us towards or away from E1's world." Clyde pretty much drove this point home a few weeks ago. All this to say I don't think it matters too much if Adelle fails to grow her hair out quickly, etc.: E1 is not a fixed/definite future for this world, but a sort of navigation point for our ongoing understanding of the season two stories as they unfold.
Thirdflower, hasn't Joss already said that Epitaph One's future is definite? It's just the memories/flashbacks that are malleable.
In thinking on all the remarks about predictability in terms of characters being killed on Whedon shows, death is inevitable in his dangerous high-stakes worlds. I certainly wouldn't chalk up Bennett as another love of someone that must be taken away in order that we feel that loss on a huge deeper level. I thought Bennett was interesting but I didn't love her. I do like Topher, so that's where part of the shock of the loss comes in. Even though it's possible Whiskey wasn't triggered, it felt more like a hit job to me, and I was still as shocked by how skillfully that sleight of hand was played - add me to the list of people who said: "What! Why did you DO that" at my TV screen. I'm grateful I wasn't looking for it, wasn't over-analyzing at that point, and got played for all I was worth, which is a lot, because I'm not unskilled at reading film. Which is great skill at work, Tim Meister Minear.
No explosions, no puppets and no leather pants, so I give that episode a 9.
trunk, you may be right. I thought he had said he thought the whole ep had some malleability, but could be wrong. If I had to guess now, I'd suspect the series will end at a point where we are on a sort of precipice where whatever has to happen to make E1 real hasn't yet fully taken place, so it continues to hang over the series like a threat. (Heck, we almost certainly ain't gonna literally cover the several years to the E1 future in the next 2 eps). So that sort of ending would kinda be a variation on the endings of Buffy ("what are we gonna do now?") and Angel ("Let's go to work"). Even though those two endings had different meta-show contexts (one series ended on Joss' chosen timeline, and the other didn't), they both chose to point more at an uncertain/uneasy future than at the certainty/closure of what had already been accomplished, a choice made all the more potentially interesting in a show that purports to be more dystopic near-future version of our real world (as opposed to the vampire/demon fantasyscape of the Buffyverse).
So, who's good here? Boyd just shot and killed 3 people. Caroline blew up a building. Adelle, well. Topher, too. Ain't no one really good in this show. Anyway.

Tonya: I am not the only to feel as I do. This is from one of the reviews linked in another thread up from this one, reviewing the show last night:

"The former is terrifically executed, a surprisingly moving portrayal of a guy discovering love and then losing it just as soon as he's found it. It's straight out of Whedon's big bag o' tricks, but it works almost as well as any other time he's pulled it off (see also: Fred, Wash, Jenny). Bennett Halvorson (Summer Glau) wasn't the best developed character ever, and had her death come in season five or something, it would have been even more affecting. But Glau made the most of the character in limited screen time, and the moment when Saunders shot her in the head was both shocking and saddening."

and

"I'm less certain on the Boyd reveal, however. It's not just because I like Boyd either. Revealing that one of the best of the good guys is actually one of the worst of the bad guys can be a terrific reversal, particularly if used sparingly and if done in a way that sheds new light on everything the character has done before. Theoretically, it works for Boyd here, but at the same time, it lacks the punch of previous times Whedon has used this particular trick. Every series he's done (save, perhaps, "Firefly") has had a moment when you've realized that one of the good guys is actually bad or has gone bad, and that moment can be thrilling when done right (see: Angel into Angelus). But here making Boyd evil ended up feeling just a bit too predictable and perfunctory. Heading into the episode's final scene, where the Rossum secrets would be revealed, it was just too obvious that at least one of the bad guys had to be Boyd. Adelle was too easy. Most of the other characters wouldn't have made sense in the show's timeline. And with the series' truncated number of episodes, there just wasn't enough time to develop a potential rogues gallery."
No...I am not okay with this...which is more than okay...it's phenomenal!! The fact that this quite devastating it just so amazing! Boyd was like the awesome awesome protector guy who you couldn't help but love...now he's bad? but...but...but....NO!
Bennett's death was jarring to me because of the tone of the Topher/Bennett scenes - they were very light and quirky-cute and then BAM ! suddenly they were totally the other thing (Topher's journey has easily been one of the highlights of the show for me). That said, I knew Saunders was going to do something as soon as she walked into the lab, something about her hands being behind her back - holding a gun as it turns out - was a bit off.

I wondered if Boyd might be Clyde's best mate from uni in the episodes 9/10 thread but can't take any credit for knowing or predicting it whatsoever - it was pure speculation, a random possibility rather than a reasoned argument (my thinking was Boyd must be something because otherwise he's a very intriguing, likeable but ultimately empty, pointless character that basically goes nowhere from start to finish. Which didn't seem very Whedonesque and as it turns out, wasn't ;). Whether he's all baddie or stays baddie will be interesting to see, must admit his motivations and backstory are gonna have to be hella good to fit as anything more than a slightly forced move to help wrap the show up with bang, if the writers (and Harry Lennix) can pull that off in two episodes it'll be a thing to see.

Otherwise, good episode. Great dialogue with Adelle and Topher getting heaps of good lines, like the way that Adelle is still making arguably grey choices (e.g. Dominick and the Attic) even now she's fighting the good fight (she's still herself, still the idealism disdaining pragmatist), loved the situational flip between Bennett and Caroline as it's revealed that, at least as far as Caroline's concerned, she did it for Bennett's sake (reminded me of this 80s advert for The Guardian, stuck with me for years) even though I agree with whoever said above that we may never get the definitive version of events, we're seeing it from two subjective viewpoints with all their inbuilt biases etc.

I thought he had said he thought the whole ep had some malleability, but could be wrong.

My understanding is that the "Epitaph One" scenes we see as memories are malleable (if we've learned anything it's that you can't rely on memories in the dollhouse) but the scenes we see in the actual future are fixed. But there're still ways round that and obviously plans can change.
For the record I've seen Buffy (including season 8), Angel, Firefly, Serenity and still didn't see the death of Bennett coming. I'm probably an idiot.
My take on it is that I had seen 1 suggestion on the entire interwebs Boyd might be behind Rossum, and nothing about Bennett dying. Before the thing aired. Considering how much people pick these shows apart, I think it's disingenuous to say people generally knew what was coming. Read this topic - they didn't.
Just once I'd like to see Dana5140 post his predictables before they air. I kind of don't buy that someone has somehow managed to foresee just about every plot point in every single episode Dollhouse has ever had. ;)

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-01-09 21:08 ]
I think he(Dana5140)'s just part of Joss' subconcious that is forced to hate everything he creates. It makes perfect sense. And he knows whats coming because he created it but he can't remember creating it because he is a true personality all his own. Fox can only frak with a man so many times before he snaps. ;-) I say this with nothing but fun and respect and a smile.
I don't know, if you didn't read anything about casting you wouldn't even know Bennett would be back in this episode. And we never saw what terms Topher and Bennett parted on the last time they met (he did hit her and trick her, and she tried to kill Echo). They could easily have been at each other's throats this episode, hence, no romance, and no reason to kill Bennett.

Within the context of the episode, you could maybe predict that "oh, okay, these guys are happy and someone needs to die, so maybe Bennett will be the one," but I doubt you would know whether it would happen this episode or the next one or the finale, or that Claire would be the one to do it, or that it would happen in that scene in that way... hence, surprising.

Plus, I think killing Claire would have been just as tragic, since they'd just established her happiness with Boyd (of course, that's discounting the Boyd reveal). I mean, I guess it might be harder to kill her since they have her on a wedge but they could easily write around that (someone's destroyed her wedges too!). And Mellie could have also been the death -- can you imagine her getting shot as Paul tries to evacuate her? That would have been brutal and very Joss-y too.

So while in the vague sense you could say "that's a classic Joss move," I don't think you could say, "Bennett is definitely going to be shot by Claire right now." Plus, the whole season seems to have been following Topher's growing morality and subsequent downfall, and, just as with Tara's death, this works as a major part of that.
What Gossi and Bix said. Predicting a twist part way through an episode, when any number of other options have been eliminated, is not the same as predicting it in advance.

And Joss writes war stories. All of his series take place in hugely dangerous arenas where the characters have usually escaped death multiple times. Sooner or later some of their numbers are bound to be up. If a story set in WWII had no one die that'd be seen as unrealistic. If Joss ever does a series that's like Party of Five or something, no one would die.
Predicting a twist part way through an episode, when any number of other options have been eliminated, is not the same as predicting it in advance.

And it's also basically an artifact of not giving a shit about the show, and watching it from a sense of judgmental detachment, not in-the-moment investment. When there's no chance you're going to bother with being into the show, the entire viewing endeavor becomes about making a flaw list. (Not that there's anything inherently wrong with watching a show that way. It's just not as All That as it sometimes seems to be made out to be in here.)

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-01-09 21:20 ]
But at any rate, the flip side of that observations is that as someone who is, and has always been, in-the-moment invested in the show, I didn't see any of it coming, even with trying to figure out since The Attic who the Hell they'd reveal the head of Rossum to be. To each their own. Me, I stop watching things once I realize I'm not getting anything out of them except my own sense of judgmental satisfaction.
T.I.T? Joss and co managed to get something called T.I.T. past the Fox censors? Kudos. I shall now resume my shallow viewing of the episode.
TIT did not pass me unnoticed.

By the way, all the Clyde 2.0 speculation 3 weeks ago was a misdirect, for those who didn't work it out. Everybody was so spent trying to work out who Clyde is (as it turns out: nobody we know), people weren't thinking about who the partner was.
I correctly predicted that Adelle would be snarky and British in this episode.
wow. mind blown. I just read the entire thread and found many interesting views and theories.

I wonder if Boyd truly cares for Echo. he's been protecting her all along and for what? to steal her abilities?

I don't really think Saunders is a sleeper. maybe she wanted revenge on topher or has her own agenda

and shouldn't bennet's brain be on file somewhere? topher should be able to bring her back

I love how joss has the talent to surprise and shock even genre-savvy viewers, which I think comprise a good part of his audience/fanbase
I wonder if Boyd truly cares for Echo. he's been protecting her all along and for what? to steal her abilities?

It's always possible (did I read this upthread somewhere?) that Rossum has gotten away from itself, and that Boyd's endgame indeed has been to find a process to protect people from the technology his company has managed to unleash. Maybe in the end, the "heroes" were at the bottom and at the top, and it was the runaway middle that was destroying the world.
I'm just gonna email bob (thank you cake guy) and point out the blood on Topher's face was Bennett's. Hee.
Hah. Make sure hes seen the episode first.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-01-09 22:05 ]
Fun fact - 'Stop Loss' runs directly into 'The Attic', which directly runs into 'Getting Closer', which runs directly into 'The Hollow Men'. These characters need some sleepy time!
Oh, on the predictability thing, I do know of one time that Dana5140 made a prediction in advance. In the discussion thread for S1 ep 11, he said that Sierra would die.

I've watched the episode three times now and it holds up beautifully. It's dense with information, coming from reaction shots as much as dialog, tight plotting with barely a moment to catch your breath, and excellent acting. The cutting between the flashbacks and the present, usually triggered by a line of dialog is just Tim at his masterful best. He should only write episodes that take place in two or three timelines at once, I'd be happy.

Loved the back-and-forth between Bennett and Topher especially, as I've said. Take the scene where she asks for a diet-soda and he practically shouts that he has some. Then he offers to show her his lab while attempting a Topher version of a suave double-entendre. Her appalled reaction and his reaction to her reaction are sheer joy to watch.

Damn, I'm going to miss this show.
I think I might want the bizarre Topher/Bennett romance music as my ringtone.
they can sleep when they're dead! and I really hope they don't die
I wonder what we'll see in epitaph two. will the future have changed? or will it be a direct sequel to e1?
I loved them kissing and he just keeps saying "ow," and she keeps saying "Sorry." The entire time. That was comedy gold. Gold, Jerry!
To quote Dapper Dan Man on summr-glau.net:
Bennett got Washed.

So more on this show, because I can't stop thinking about it.

1) Caroline: So I felt at first that there wasn't much new here, but of course sneaking into a building to videotape poor puppies is a far cry from blowing up a building and describing oneself as a terrorist. I'm wondering if the whole Bennet thing is a deliberate sideshow so that we miss the fundamental truth. Caroline ended up being good to Bennet at the end--giving herself up for her--and she showed concerned for the puppies, er, people as dolls. So we are left thinking warm fuzzy things about Caroline, even though the rest of the show is pointing out that she did use her and was unconcerned with the Rossum employees who could be killed in the process. The ambivalence is there.

2) I do really hope we get something on Ballard. As I said before, I think in season one he was one of the show's most interesting characters--like "Echoes" Caroline, surface heroic but a screw-up, a fool, a sexual obsessive, bounced around and manipulated by Alpha, the mole (Dominic, right?), Adelle. Sympathetic for being an Everyman and traditional hero way, way over his head. The Echo/Ballard love 4evah plotline made no sense, in the context of how creepy Ballard's relationship with her was, but this is still fine as long as we are expected to read it subversively. I'm still struggling to see how that's the case, as I was with the Caroline bit. But as others have pointed out, it could be that it wasn't actually Paul's Echo-love that got deleted, but something else--and then we would maybe have the interesting situation where Echo would have to realize that maybe he never cared about her at all, and was waiting for Caroline to return. Plus, I can't read Tahmoh's acting at all in the past few eps--he seems detached from everything, but how much is that from the doll-ified state, and how much is just him playing Ballard?

3) Anthony and Priya: Dichen and Enver have amazing chemistry and the setup for the Sierra/Victor romance was great, as well as the way their love for each other seeped into their imprints. And Anthony and Priya have been a quasi-item since "Needs," so their story is suitably epic. I still don't know what these two are about right now though--I don't know why they are okay with having been put in the Attic and nearly killed, I don't know why they're so devoted to the big fight. Anthony I can see--he's the Man with the Mission, maybe exploited by Adelle/Echo--but is carefree-Priya doing this out of altruism, love for Victor, gratefulness towards Echo, revenge against the system that imprisoned her? I feel like telling these crazy kids: run and don't look back, the way Topher told Ivy.

4) Topher and Bennet: I like the point made earlier that this is a war story. Someone is going to get killed, and Bennet, it seems to me, is the least of what's going to be coming up. I found it suitably shocking and painful but I also don't think we're supposed to be devastated by it in a Wash, Tara, Jenny, or Wesley type of way. And this starts to break Topher, and we know that he has SO MUCH MORE to come and it's heartwrenching, especially because this is the beginning of his guilt. Because Bennet wasn't killed by Rossum security, or by Boyd. She was killed by Dr. Claire Saunders, Topher's creation, who ran away from the Dollhouse to be reprogrammed in part because of him.

And let's say here: the scenes between Topher and Bennet are handled so well, the little silly music as the two socially inept puppetmasters meet their respective matches and can't look away. The kissing scene is maybe my favourite moment in the series.

5) "I was number one." I wonder on some level if Whisky weren't an attempted composite imprint, the first attempt, which failed. Pure idle spec that will probably go nowhere. Jealousy over Topher being able to feel for another human being as a partial motivator might work, but I feel like we don't understand Claire well enough yet. Was she pretending, when Boyd ran away? Was he? When she stays in the Dollhouse after the Fall, is it atonement? Waiting for Boyd? For Topher? For Alpha? Is Safe Haven a trap, another experiment, with a fake Caroline imprint?

6) Plotting-wise, I have no idea what has been happening in the past two episodes, kind of seriously. The Attic is in Adelle's House, but she has no control over it and has to have Echo break herself out. But then it takes time for Rossum to get the word that people broke out of their Attic, which, uh, they control. Then, Dominic breaks out to warn them that "they got to Clyde," suggesting that Rossum can only find out that people broke out of the Attic by finding out from within the Attic. If Rossum was going to find out about the Attic escape anyway, why not actually go in and take it over by force?

Nearest I can figure is the following:

a) Rossum controls the Attic with its employees, who would immediately warn Rossum if there were any breaches from the House from Adelle, which would render her Echo mission impossible. She also sent in Sierra and Victor as more dmeonstration that she was playing by the rules (since Rossum presumably wanted them sent up there as well), and told Echo that they were going there.
b) Echo was told to subdue the guards when she awoke so that the Attic could be taken over entirely by Adelle's team without them knowing, whereas an assault from the House would have alerted them and ergo Rossum right away.
c) Adelle posted some of her own people up in the Attic who could make sure people didn't die, and who could form the Echo function of reviving people if they "died" as a deliberate means of escape. This allowed Rossum to be unaware of anything being wrong unless they asked their Attic employees to report in.
d) Rossum found Clyde, presumably through his Arcane persona, from within the Attic; they, presumably, took him out of the Attic and tortured him until he told them what had happened. Dominic escapes the Attic through the killing himself way, and the employees Adelle posted revive him and then let him run downstairs but he ain't doing too hot.
e) Rossum sends Clive Ambrose to Adelle to shut her down for taking out her people.

OK, that was a LOT OF WORK to make these episodes make sense. I think more than should have been necessary. And some of it still doesn't make sense.

7) Speaking of Clive Ambrose--was the Clive we saw an imprint the whole time? Like, was he not the original Ambrose body?
8) Oh, this is a point raised by someone else, but: why would cutting off the head of Rossum do anything? Aren't there multiple copies of basically everyone around? Couldn't Boyd or whoever just copy himself ad infinitum so there would be no danger of being stopped? This is the same deal that we see with Ambrose and with Clyde--it's unclear why Echo et al. think that removing the head of Rossum will do any good, although certainly knowing who it is would probably be useful.
Jay-sus.

Firefly reference FTW.
I actually fell in love with Topher & Bennett. They had potential, and people can say all they want that it was too brief a 'thing', but from the kissing/ow/sorry/kissing/ow/sorry, and how much I'm emotionally invested in Topher, I fell in love with them both then.
And then when Claire came in with her hands behind her back, and said that Topher was in love with Bennett, I knew she was gonna kill Bennett. It upset me so much that I tried to deny it (hoping she was actually being nice instead), right up until she shot Bennett. (I seek no credit for predicting something 10 seconds before it happened ;p haha.)
Sad, sad, sad times.
They were so adorable.
:(
And now Topher's started to really withdraw from the world, E1-style. :'(
Fun fact - 'Stop Loss' runs directly into 'The Attic', which directly runs into 'Getting Closer', which runs directly into 'The Hollow Men'. These characters need some sleepy time!

Gossi, I was thinking about that last night! How certain characters' costumes are the same in the end of this ep and in spoiler stills for next week. I guess they all had time to sleep during The Attic. Mmm, restful, adrenaline-fueled nightmare sleep...

I love that during the shoot-out in Adelle's office, there were four shots and four hits. That's great, I'm so sick of characters, who are supposedly trained marksmen, suddenly being unable to hit a target because it's TV. Oh, and I'll echo what Saje said about Adelle in this episode. She's still a pragmatist, still making calls not everyone would agree with. Very cool, and great dialogue with Bennett as well.

Topher and Bennett were solid gold, everything about their scenes was lovely. Every change in tone felt real and fleshy, but quick as it turned into something else. And her death was probably my favorite part of the episode.

That's one prediction I will lay claim to, and in the most abstract way possible- Back after watching Epitaph One, I thought about all of the terrible occurances we hadn't seen yet, and I thought Hmm... Topher should have a girlfriend and she should die. Tada! Haha, so not really much of a prediction... And I definitely had no inkling about Boyd or Bennett before this ep. Boyd crossed my mind when thinking about the Clyde 2.0 stuff, but so did every other character who has ever been on camera.

I would also like to note that my friend texted this message to me after shortly it aired:

"I feel so betrayed! I trusted Boyd. With my life."

Haha, yeah...
FU Joss! Dammit... I mean, I did kinda see Saunders coming... Not sure she'd actually kill Bennett but something... But Boyd? Freaking Boyd?! God dammit... And now come to think of it, I do feel that Saunders actions might have been telegraphed consciously to lull us into a false sense of security ahead of the Boyd reveal.

But yeah, that was awesome... I love when Joss messes with my brain... Only two episodes to go... *sigh*
Boyd is the moral core of the show, the only non-fucked up person the viewers can retreat to when it's all going to shit.

I do think the show kinda pisses in the eyesockets of the viewers, but right now I'm in to watersports.
Lotta Dana negativity out there today. I tried to explain my thinking upthread, but now people seem to be suggesting I was offering predictions after the fact. C'mon, guys, this is supposed to be fun. If you don't want to believe me or even read what I say, let it alone, rather than make fun of me. Argue the issues, not me. The emoticons with winks are not coming through to me; a bit of ire and frustration with me is. I understand it, but sometimes I think there can be groupthink and because I find stuff to criticize, people wonder why I bother posting at all. But you know, there really is stuff to talk about; my wife loves the show so I watch with her, and this is the place for really educated discussion. So I am here to discuss. But I am not criticizing others for their comments, nor making fun of them, so why do so to me?
Even if Boyd had not been revealed as the head of Rossum, how non-fucked morally could a guy be who works for the Dollhouse? Tut-tutting while doing nothing is just a way of distancing yourself from your own complicity.

In other words he wasn't the moral core of the show for me.
Wow Gossi.
Wow. That's all I can say to that.
Does anyone know who directed the final two episodes??
You'd think I would be able to remember "happiness = death", but he gets me every time.
My take on it is that I had seen 1 suggestion on the entire interwebs Boyd might be behind Rossum, and nothing about Bennett dying. Before the thing aired. Considering how much people pick these shows apart, I think it's disingenuous to say people generally knew what was coming. Read this topic - they didn't.


Ah, you must not read the /tv/ board over at 4chan then. There is a huge number of Summer Glau fans there, and we've all been saying for months that Bennett is going to die. When the press releases came out that she was in the next 2 episodes, people there were so ecstatic because they thought she was going to live. And when that didn't happen, well I can only say the reactions have been very amusing. There has also been much speculation about Boyd. And now a big war has started between the Amy Acker fans and the Summer Glau fans, which is quite hilarious.
Well, yeah. That's 4chan... *grins*
Didn't anybody catch Mike Massa as the DC doll getting "ghost-chaired"?


Not until you mentioned it, Chili, but you're right. Good call. :)

The Whole Boyd-Saunders Thing

I still believe that Whiskey isn't part of Boyd's big plan. His feelings for her happened away from the house (they founded a relationship in Season 1 but he has kept her presence in S2 top secret). I think Boyd knew what his end-game was, and just wanted some comfort from a person he loves before it all went down. We are talking apocalypse, people. Who wouldn't want time with their honeys beforehand?

That scene with Adelle & Ambrose. I counted the gun shots the second-time around- there are only three. One for each guard, and one for Ambrose through the head. Where's the fourth for Boyd's stomach? I think he's faking. He saw his exit strategy, and took it. That's why he gets Adelle's assurance that Whiskey will stay with them- she's not part of his final plan.

When he says good-bye to her- that's for real. Whiskey believes he's wounded and doesn't want her love going on the run. (Surprisingly, Boyd doesn't look too bad to have a gun shot to the stomach, yes?) That's the last time Boyd & Whiskey see each other.

Whiskey shoots Bennet alone. Only Topher is there to witness (where's Boyd?). Everyone evacuates. Topher programs Echo with Caroline. Topher gets knocked out. Suddenly, Boyd appears. Hey, wasn't he supposed to be on the RUN??

If Whiskey knew his plans, why did he wait until everyone was evacuated before he showed his face? Utterly fishy.

... Of course, the previews for next week seem to make my theory completely false. I'll find out in 6 days. 'Til then, this is my story. ;)
That's another small thing I love about the twists- I was so sure Ivy would die and Bennett would be around until next Friday solely because of those press releases! That's great, what a nice red herring with Ivy all around. I figured that if this was her last episode, some shit would go down- she'd be a Clyde, or a sleeper, or just toast, but no! She simply gets her life back! How stunning was that scene, btw?

ETA: No, there are four distinct shots heard.

[ edited by GoldDust12 on 2010-01-10 00:03 ]
Re: the "multiple perspectives"/"what is the truth of Caroline's motives in leaving Bennett behind."

We actually DON'T seem to be presented with two perspectives, only one: We cut from the scene of Caroline saying she is leaving Bennett behind to protect her to a "lost in thought" shot of Bennett in the present, suggesting that we have just been in Bennett's memories. Which makes further sense when we notice that, in the memory, Caroline explains to Bennett what she is doing while fastening Bennett's badge on, and is still more or less facing Bennett when she says the full line about intending that she (Caroline) will be the only one caught. And, of course, all of the memories we have seen to this point in the ep (i.e. BEFORE Caroline is repaired and imprinted to Echo), with the exception of the opening teaser in Adelle's office, also seem to be Bennett's memories of her past with Caroline.

So I think it is pretty hard to make a case for much ambiguity of perspective on what happened at that moment in the lab when Bennett was left behind. Caroline may have done many bad things, but this moment wasn't one of them. What we do have is a pretty interesting and believable character arc in which Bennett has either forgotten or chosen to ignore memories of Caroline's motives as she became wrapped up in telling herself a more embittered narrative of how she came to both lose her arm function and follow the path of joining the Dollhouse. It is not just in the movies that people in psychic pain can put a lot of effort into trying to deny or avoid parts of their own past story that get in the way of their desire to be able to find clear villians to blame for their pain. (And Bennett didn't have a Giles available to her to, as in "Lie to Me",gently tease her away from the tempting belief in pure black hats and white hats.)
Dana5140, I wasn't meaning to make fun of you - although I probably did, so sorry about that. There is just a tipping point where after each episode airs, somebody proclaims they saw every twist coming. That can get tiring to read, to the point of it becoming comical. When it comes to this show I've had a clue about the episodes before they've aired, and reading the speculation online after each ep has shown me something - people don't tend to have a clue. That's not a dig at anybody, and theories are great - I make them too. But, ya know.

By the way, one thing I love - Caroline is a self proclaimed terrorist, bombing buildings. And yet in the comments here, she's seen as a hero. Where's the line with that?

[ edited by gossi on 2010-01-10 00:07 ]
You sure GoldDust12? I only counted three. And why would a man with a gun shot wound to the stomach move so nimbly as Boyd? He doesn't show too much pain as he reaches up to snap the neck of his soldier-employee.
thirdflower, Bennet doesn't have memories of seducing a security guard in the LA Dollhouse or meeting the head of Rossum face-to-face. I think Tim cut away to Caroline's memories so we would know what Echo finally knows at the end of the episode when Boyd touches her hand in the imprint chair.
Just re-watched: Definitely 4 clear shots. Boom (pause) Boom Boom (shorter pause) Boom.
Killing Summer, Joss-Tim? You go too far, sirs. Too far indeed. I know not to get too attached to your actors...I just never imagined that it would be her.

I mean, she is just beautiful in Serenity- which totally changed my life, by the way (no lie, and thanks for that)- but how am I supposed to enjoy any of it now, knowing that somewhere in the Jossverse she doesn't make it through???

And hey, when did we at Whedonesque become so accepting of death, especially the way things are going with the tech on the show! BRING SUMMER BACK.

JOSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
The line is, gossi, very blurred. I mean, BOYD IS THE HEAD OF ROSSUM! *mind freak*
Yeppers. I love it. About the only person I trust in that 'house is Topher, and I doubt he could manage his way out of a paper bag.
Korkster -- yes, I mentioned that the teaser is not a Bennett memory. If we need a source for how we can have that scene without someone to remember it, well, we know the security guard was debriefed by Dominic. As for the memory of Boyd, it is shown to us after Echo is shown getting the Caroline imprint. But more important is the cutaway to Bennett's face from the memory of the bombing, which is practically Film Studies 101 film grammar for "we were just in this character's memories."
Tonya: I am not the only to feel as I do. This is from one of the reviews linked in another thread up from this one, reviewing the show last night:

Dana, and I am not the only one who feels as I do. You've made a lot of statements over the years proclaiming Joss is predictable (by the way, Tim wrote and directed this episode, not Joss, though I'm sure he must have had some input), and in fact damning him and not with praise. I have oft wondered as have other members, why you watch his shows since you single him out as an artist who has caused you great personal pain, and/or bored you, not challenged or entertained you. I'm not being a contrarian when I disagree with you, I'm simply disagreeing with your point of view because I saw something differently.
Four? Darn. Well, my theory still stands (in that it doesn't really). All I'm saying is that man can move for being just shot in the gut.

Speculations:

1) Ambrose-Victor must have occurred before Adelle's drinking binge. She's still voicing her righteousness to Rossum in that scene and that's where she finds out that Ambrose is in many bodies. Plus Topher is the quiet genius he was when he built the *tech*. So perhaps that scene is from or right before Harding started running her house for 5 months?

2) I think that Alpha was a genuine freak accident. But it's an accident that was heard all over the Rossum corporation. And it was before Boyd got *hired* by Adelle. Maybe he planted Caroline in LA for slightly altered reasons, found out what happened, thought a composite would be nifty, and now we have Super Echo. In E1 Echo/Caroline gives Alpha credit for SafeHaven not being affected by the signal. Maybe it's an indirect credit. Because of his freak accident, a sanctuary was possible?
thirdflower, well I wouldn't know anything about Film Studies. It just seemed that the whole back story came from one perspective (which I deemed to be Caroline because a) she was in every scene and 2) her story was the one goal of this episode- finding out what Caroline knew).

We already knew what Bennet's impressions of that day were, and it seems more tragic for Bennet to go on living a lie (working for Rossum) and never knowing that her *only* friend had the best intentions at heart. But that's just me.
I'll miss this show so much :(
Korkster- yes, definitely four shots. I'm not saying it isn't fishy though, it absolutely is. Everything about Boyd is fishy, and always has been.

The Victor/Ambrose scene is the one bit of E1 that just doesn't fit with all we've seen. I think it could have happened shortly before Stop-Loss, in part because Ambrose was forcing them to choose sides. And he was talking about how Topher "practially built" the ark, so they should have had his crazy new tech by then. I think that's the best bet to minimize any discrepancies. If it weren't for Adelle's damn hair! So as long as it's the day Adelle decided to wear a wig to work, it sort of makes sense...
Holy crap! My brain hurts now!

"You'd think I would be able to remember "happiness = death", but he gets me every time." Same here. After all these years I didn't think the part of my heart devoted to Joss' characters could be broken any more but Joss finds a way.

Btw, that room at Rossum that Caroline broke into was very Wolfram&Hart-body-part-harvest-shop-esque.
Korkster -- good call on the timing of why/when Boyd showed up in L.A. It can't be an accident that he did it just after Alpha (as a freak accident) composited, especially since he would have heard that Alpha had fixated on the doll he himself apparantly had also decided was special.
I'm watching the dollhouse pilot and seeing Topher talking with Boyd, calling him man-friend and all that, I think he's really gonna be crushed when he finds out.
Oh, don't make me sad for man-friend, okelay.

That makes sense, GoldDust12. Post-Harding, pre-drinking binge.

Remember SITHOL? When Echo was the Spyhunter Lady? And she was interrogating Boyd? How sweet his position must be, that smug face. "I don't know why I trust you, but I do." SOB. Even if Boyd was last-minute thinking, they really did an artful job allowing for this set-up. We have *absolutely* no idea who this guy is, and he is more than often lied directly to people's faces... why not the audience's as well?

It's like he took a vacation from evil to see what his corporation *really* does, like mice scurrying under his feet. And he's had a grand 'ol time with it. I forget who pointed out Boyd's evil laughter in the Attic episode, but they were on point- Boyd's been laughing at us the entire time. Should apply for the EVOL. :)
Caught it on hulu just now, and to add another Capt. Tightpants quote in keeping with the one upthread:
"Sonofabitch!"
Things I saw coming:

-- Adelle is badass
-- Dominic is badass
-- Adelle loves Dominic
-- Topher is not a Kinsey 0
-- Boyd's up to something or other
-- What they really took was Paul's better flavors of angst

What I didn't see coming:

-- Most stuff. Yay! Show not boring. Brain melty.
I re-listened to the E1 commentary. You know, it's always about hair. How to distinguish past-Topher from present-Topher to future-Topher. Present-Dominic to future-Dominic (comb it down). First shoes. Now hair. We should have known.
I love that E1 commentary. It's aces.

I've put up a few, uhm, deleted scenes from this episode here.
:( If only the show were 50 minutes again, we could have included those.
Gossi- Haha, then Badass! and Awww!!
Just caught up on Hulu.

Tim Minear, you devil, you... you... bastard! In the most respectful sense, of course. You blew my freakin' mind!!! I BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP THEE!

Topher/Bennett: I'm crushed. Thanks for breakin' my wee lil heart.

And Amy Acker? She got to have smoochies with Boyd. omg, I HATE her!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What an episode. It's all been said above, and more eloquently than my own words, no doubt.

Still all mind-blown over here. Can the last two eps top this one? Might be hard to do. My expectations are oh-so-high.

Tim, I love you. You're the raspberry in my truffle.
Hey, is anyone else a little disturbed that they let all the other Actives go with their REAL personalities but left November as Mellie? Why not turn her back to Madeline and release her? I smell tragedy.

It just doesn't seem too fair, does it? Everyone else can be who they really are, except her.
Did anyone else find it weird that Bennett was horrified when found Caroline out... until Caroline told her she was a terrorist? Why did she decide that bombing Rossum would be an awesome idea? I might have missed something, though. Doing a rewatch in a couple of hours, just wanted to ask that before I forgot it, again.
She was horrified that Caroline didn't trust her enough to tell her. She was keeping secrets from Bennet, who was supposed to be her friend. When Caroline told her the truth, she was happy because she could help her friend. (to fuffybaby18)
Korkster: and in the deleted scene (via gossi), it's Mellie that Adelle takes with her when she leaves. Hmmmm.
Bennett is totally the person who wants to get freaky with their best friend. That's my reading.

Korkster, Paul and Madeline don't exactly get along. Paul and Mellie do. The easiest option in the present situation is to bring back Mellie.
Ah, but why bring Madeline along when they let the others go? Just doesn't seem "right" to me. They judged how she should enter the world but not the others.
Yeah, Adelle brought that up when Mellie came back. I assumed they intended to put her back eventually.

ETA: I think they were hoping to have more time before Rossum tore the house up.

[ edited by GoldDust12 on 2010-01-10 01:56 ]
I cannot WAIT for the interviews post E2. How they broke the stories, the reactions of the actors, playing out the final bits. Think about those juicy bits makes me all sorts of happy.
Having Mellie by her side also gives Adelle a sleeper agent that she can trigger in case she's attacked.

ETA: Maybe not "right", but definitely helpful.

[ edited by fuffybaby18 on 2010-01-10 02:01 ]
Right? I want this DVD so hard... If there isn't a commentary on EVERY episode starting with Belonging... *shakes fist

Hmm, that's a good point, fuffybaby18. I guess sleepers could be handy bodyguards under the right circumstances.
But I thought that even with her imprinted original personality, she was still a sleeper. Wasn't that touched on during the whole "OMG Senator Perrin is a Doll" move? You're released but never really released? She'll always have the Active architecture, and therefore sleeper habits?

Or is it Mellie herself that has the programmed sleeper capability. I thought they were separate. Perhaps they're together.
Hey, is anyone else a little disturbed that they let all the other Actives go with their REAL personalities but left November as Mellie? Why not turn her back to Madeline and release her?

Seemed clear to me that Paul insisted on it. Adelle says flat out that if Paul wants November to come with them, it's going to be as someone who can be trusted, and that apparently is not Madeline.

And it's not just in the deleted that Mellie leaves with Adelle. It's in the episode.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-01-10 02:35 ]
So, do you think (and if this is addressed in the next two episodes, anyone who knows the answer, please refrain) that the three-buttons/vodka scene between Laurence and Adelle in Epitaph One happens in the real world or was something Laurence experienced while in the Attic?
I think that one's real. That scene places them in time very specifically, but as long as all those boxes are checked it could work. Hold on, I just posted about this on IMDb a little while ago, haha, let me go get my thoughts...

ETA:

- Echo now has Caroline in her, which has happened.
- Caroline/Echo and DeWitt are no longer on good terms.
- Caroline is presumably not in the dollhouse anymore, on her way to create Safe Haven while others hole up in the LA House?
- Rossum has probably fallen by then.
- The tech is out.
- Topher is really starting to lose it (I love that look she gives Dom when he mentions Topner's face.).
- Adelle seems to be drinking a fair amount again.

[ edited by GoldDust12 on 2010-01-10 02:51 ]
Re: Maddie/Madeline. I initially assumed that, since she was captured/re-"dolled" in the D.C. house, the LA house no longer had her most current ID (and given the several month period when Adelle didn't even control the LA house, they might not even have access to an old madeline. Having read the discussion here, I agree that Adele's dialogue is aimed more at explaining to Paul that she feels Madeline would be too much of a handful to convince of their cause during the escape ("no time for a senate hearing", etc.). The most current Maddie differs from the other dolls in that her real personality is likely to be virulently anti-(L.A.) dollhouse staff, so Adele's choice, given her role as a general, is certainly understandable for the short term, however unpleasant.
Did anyone else hear Clyde say "Rossum is just a name. Actually, from a play. Although technically you're not robots, it seemed to fit." when he met Caroline? If I heard this right it might seem to indicate that Caroline was a doll already (As if my mind had not already been blown enough by this episode!)
I noticed that too but took it to mean he was just anticipating making her an Active.
Yes, MutantBill, I just rewatched the episode and that is what he said. Not "they're", but "you're". It could also mean her impending evolution into a Doll as well.

I found the Play Clyde is referring to. As Spock would say, "fascinating".
Gossi, that second deleted scene would have been nice to see. It's kind of a jarring moment in the episode where it goes from Adelle saying "don't be ridiculous" about leaving to instantly agreeing to go a moment later.
Yeppers. I love it. About the only person I trust in that 'house is Topher, and I doubt he could manage his way out of a paper bag.
gossi | January 10, 00:12 CET

As I've not done it before, could someone gimme a heads-up on how to put that in a quoteboxthing?

Anyways - I refer back to a post of mine a month or two ago in which I said that I wouldn't be surprised if Topher turned out to be the most moral one in the show :D
And whilst 'moral' is a word I shouldn't really have used in such a morally ambiguous series, I agree that by now he seems to be the purest, most trustworthy character.

I'm so emotionally attached to him that it's ridiculous.
Anyways - I refer back to a post of mine a month or two ago in which I said that I wouldn't be surprised if Topher turned out to be the most moral one in the show :D
And whilst 'moral' is a word I shouldn't really have used in such a morally ambiguous series, I agree that by now he seems to be the purest, most trustworthy character.

In a sea of black a single patch of gray might as well be pure white.
Without fanning the flames here, I do think it's completely legit for Dana to give his full, unabridged reactions to the show(s). This is a fansite, but it's not an adulation-site. And people watch shows that they aren't falling over themselves in praise for, for lots of reasons. I watch quite a few and still often want to talk about them.

Also when I call things ahead of time I totally like saying it, so that's legitimate too.
Saw show. Hulu. ARRRRRRRRG!

JOSS WHEDON! You magnifiscient, deranged son of a... Velociraptor!

It stings. It burns!

Go to Hell! Have my babies!

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRG!

Words fail me. I fail words. It's reciprocal, at least.

I would egg your house and take a crowbar to the windows of your car and buy you new, better ones.

so very confused.
Despite all the songs of blizz and joy, i wonder if someone has a problem with miracle lauries shape - seems they try to hide it. Pity, when she came down the stairs she was wielding curves I'd like to have a closer look at *g*
Speaking of ESP...

Seeing as this is clearly a spoiler thread, anyone mind if I divulge the nature of Bennette's connection with Caroline, namely that the two of them were college classmates, and were not on the best of terms as of their last meeting - neither personally nor ideologically speaking.

brinderwalt | October 03, 20:40 CET

Where have you got that from, brinderwalt, if you don't mind me asking?

Topher screws up Every. Week. It's quite impressive.

gossi | October 03, 20:46 CET

I put together all the various bits and pieces about the character that are floating around from official sources and that's part of what I've come up with. I'd be willing to bet money that it's true. Nothing else would seem to make sense.

To add another level to it, Echo is going to need to be very careful about how she behaves when Bennette is around.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-10-03 21:00 ]

brinderwalt | October 03, 20:55 CET


Not to mention...

So. Bennett was working as some kind of (probably) student researcher somewhere in Caroline's former sphere of influence and was injured in a domestic terrorist attack carried out by radical animal rights activists, possibly including Caroline herself. Regardless, Caroline ended up on the scene and denied immediate aid to Bennett - hence Bennet's grudge and her lame arm.

BAM! said the lady.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2009-11-17 22:31 ]

brinderwalt | November 17, 22:32 CET


Hee hee.
Well called, that'd be a prediction rather than the other kind.

... people weren't thinking about who the partner was.

Err, check out the episode 9/10 thread gossi, a lot of people were thinking about that (but no-one called it ahead of time as far as i'm aware).

About the only person I trust in that 'house is Topher, and I doubt he could manage his way out of a paper bag.

Right ? And isn't that absolutely fucking beautiful ? That the amoral man-child has become the moral compass of the show, the one person whose responses are naturally, intrinsically decent ? Cheers Joss et al, smoochies right back atcha.

I would also like to note that my friend texted this message to me after shortly it aired:

"I feel so betrayed! I trusted Boyd. With my life."


Thing is GoldDust12, I kinda still do. I don't understand his game but i'm far from convinced that it's evil, his past actions just don't make sense in that light - if his endgame is to save the world from his own tech, there're much easier ways to do it. Really hope the writers know that too.

And just to echo the leaping in and out of memories supporters (this week they were mostly/exclusively Caroline's, hence the different Bennett perspective), agreed, Tim Minear has made structure his bitch. Simple as.
I went back over the script and babelfished that bit of german the scapled active said to Caroline & I found this page: <---- link deleted owing to the article being hosted on a far-right wing website ------>

[ edited by Simon on 2010-01-10 18:42 ]
Ah gossi, that deleted scene actually kind of addressed the one thing that was bothering me in this episode: why they don't just imprint someone else with Caroline to get at the information.

As for expecting/not-expecting plot twists, I'm not going to say that there's no way to see these things coming. I for one was completely surprised that Saunders killed Bennett. I wasn't necessarily that surprised by Bennett's death (but can't claim to have had any notion that it was about to happen), but I certainly was surprised by Saunders doing the deed.

As for Boyd being the big boss: when Saunders killed Bennett, I was pretty much convinced it'd be Boyd, after suddenly starting to suspect him somewhere early in the episode (although I can't quite remember when or why, apart from suddenly figuring it'd make the most emotional sense). I was very much hoping I'd be wrong though, and found the reveal emotionally very effective. Having said that: suspecting Boyd was pretty much just a hunch and it could have easily gone another way. Plus: dreading that our beloved Boyd would in face be revealed to be Rossum's founding father probably made the actual reveal have even more of an emotional impact. All in all: I totally and utterly loved every bit of it.

BTW, did anyone get the impression that the fellow Caroline first saw when she went upstairs, Rossum, was Topher, even though it was different body? Or perhaps Topher is just another imprint, in this case of Rossum.


Dana, wasn't that the mellowed-out version of Clyde? Plus: he wasn't actually called Rossum. Not sure how much sense it'd make if Topher turned out to be one of the Clyde clones, but one never does know.

Right ? And isn't that absolutely fucking beautiful ? That the amoral man-child has become the moral compass of the show, the one person whose responses are naturally, intrinsically decent ? Cheers Joss et al, smoochies right back atcha.


This. I was thinking about this on my way over to some friends this evening. That Topher's journey has been quite amazing, even more so because he truly has become the only person in the Dollhouse that I'd trust. If you'd have predicted that in S1, I would probably have laughed.

As for Boyd: I'm not quite sure what to think, apart from the fact that I love the possibilities this creates. He's either a great actor, or his love for Echo, at the very least, was real. Which might in fact be the case: just look at the relationship between The Mayor and Faith in Buffy's third season. I also don't expect TPTB to back down and make Boyd "good" again - because they already did so with Darth_Vader!Adelle, but then again this show has certainly managed to turn my assumptions on their collective heads from time to time, so there's no saying what will happen.

And finally: fun to think that some of the actors probably had fans' pies in their stomachs during a few of those scenes ;)
And finally: fun to think that some of the actors probably had fans' pies in their stomachs during a few of those scenes ;)

It took me way too long to figure out what you meant by that- I forgot about the cakes! I thought having a "fan's pie in one's stomach" must be some clever trope I'm unfamiliar with... ;)

I went back over the script and babelfished that bit of german the scapled active said to Caroline & I found this page:
http://www.heretical.com/science/dingle3.html


Whaaa? What did he say? And was that the opera-singing active? Did we see a credit for him, because I'm like 99% sure that was Olivia Williams' husband making a cameo.
ZOMG WTF HAX just watched this episode
im crying over bennet
and i fell like ive been violated with Boyd.
Cannot wait till next week!
I also noticed Mike Massa as the DC doll.

I love love loved this episode. I hate waiting each week for another one. :(

I wish FOX would reconsider.
Mebbe Boyd works/has a contract with for the guv'mint and his goal is to find a way to create an imprint-proof soldiers. Alpha was a botched experiment, Echo successful. He got himself hired by Adele to be her handler to observe and manage the process. She might even have been pre-imprinted by Clyde/Boyd before she got dolled on LA.
I wonder if they'll show us what exactly Rossum waz studying in that room. Foreign language acquisition?

No one's mentioned one of the more effective bittersweet moments in the ep - Mellie's meeting with Bsllard and Echo. She sweetly, and in the most supportive way, puts little daggers in their hearts. I have to say I like her better than Madeline, and I'm not looking forward to her eventual cruel(unless another November shows up soon) fate.

I agree with those who think that Boyd is going to turn out to be more beige than black-hat. I wouldn't mind that, at all. What I would mind is a total switch back to him being good and trying to stop his creation from the evil minions who've taken it over. It doesn't compute. If Clyde was not BSing them, Boyd stole the company, stuck Clyde in the attic, where he's been for years, and programmed a malleable doll version of himself to help run it. The guy that did that is not likely to be someone who would later come to his moral senses. I can see him thinking that Echo offers a way out of the impending apocalypse for him and others and I'm hoping that that's where they're going with him.
Topher to Ivy: "Don't become me"

His hero moment, right there :) I knew from day one when all the critics and haters were saying Topher was an irritating useless character, that he'd have so many layers revealed and depth and growth as the show goes on. One of the best characters on the show.

On to Claire:
I've read a lot of comments on the Interwebs about Claire being a sleeper or was programmed to kill. Would it not be more tragic that one the person Topher loves is killed by his own creation - someone who despite originally being a mere imprint had the ability to make choices in her "life"? Also no sleeper would go out of her way to explain to the victim why she was remarkable let alone look at Topher the way she did. Also, looking back on her confrontation with Topher in 'Vows', she's convinced he doesn't know anything about love. For someone whose wires may be loose, seeing him in love might have triggered something in her to destroy him.

I really hope it's not a matter of her being programmed - the choices she makes proves these dolls have souls, however tainted they might be...
Here's a thing: Caroline's clothes during her Dollhouse intake interview with Adelle? Not the same as what she was wearing when breaking into the Tucson HQ and talking to Boyd. So, something still happens between talking to Boyd and ultimately actually being put into the Dollhouse. She doesn't go directly from talking to the head of Rossum to becoming an Active.
And the show has visited her intake three different times. Not once did they get the clothes wrong. So I refuse to believe it's a continuity error. There's still a piece of Caroline's story missing.
It is possible she got changed before signing the dotted line.
To an outfit that included a camouflage cap?
I'd still buy her a beer.
Camouflage caps are in these days.

If Saunders wasn't triggered, I'd sure like an explanation as to why people seem to be on friendly terms with her post-scar removal in Epitaph One.
For whoever asked, the next two eps are directed by Terence O'Hara and David Solomon.
Re: Claire

When she first shot Bennett, that's what I was thinking, that some malfunction/psychic break caused Dr. Saunders herself to take her out. It is definitely the poetic choice, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. So Topher's creation brought the world to its knees, and his other creation evolved to destroy the woman he loved. It's crippling on both a macro and micro scale.

But it was only in my mind briefly, as I kind of forgot about that as soon Boyd happened, because it just makes perfect sense that he would have tweaked her imprint somehow- and why did he bring her back to the house anyway? It seemed like they had a mission... Now that it's been brought up, you're right miVi3k, I do like the thought that Saunders is broken a little better, it's prettier. Who knows though, if there even is an answer, we'll have to wait.

Another thing re: the Boyd/Saunders E1 scene- aside from the small editing changes, there's an added line after Saunders brings him the pills. He says "It's a through and through. I'll be okay." I thought it was interesting that they would add that, it's just a nod to his injury, right?

And about the Victor/Ambrose (just rewatched E1, can you tell?), if it has already happened in the present day timeline, it'd be the first memory we've seen out of the order they were shown in E1. Hmm... My poor brain, I don't want to think anymore...
Just did a quick back-of-a-napkin sketch of the passage of time. I'm still pretty sure there's a gap in time between Caroline talking to Boyd in Tucson and her intake into the Dollhouse. Anywhere from one to three months (probably the lower end). It's either that, or they did manage to have a clothing error, but I won't be convinced of that until and unless that's the only explanation after the next two episodes.
Okay b!X, that totally made me go back and chart it. *sigh* No rest for the brain, I guess. I've got at least a couple month gap in there as well. Unless Caroline and Bennett spent an extra three months planning to blow up Rossum, which could sort of make sense. Not a lot of sense, but it's enough to explain away an inexplicable costume change if that's where we land.


[ edited by azzers on 2010-01-10 09:08 ]
There's a chronology on wikia.com that I can't get to match my own, and it's making me all the more confused. If their way of reckoning is right, there's between one and two years between Caroline meeting the head of Rossum and being put into the Dollhouse. That much time I simply do not buy, personally. A couple of months at the most.

But, either way, the point is that there is a gap. There's still something that needs to happen between meeting the head of Rossum and becoming an Active. In which case the question becomes why, exactly, she's allowed to leave the head of Rossum, escape from Rossum's clutches altogether, and not be captured and made a Doll until either a couple or many several months later

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-01-10 08:57 ]
Sidenote: "Dollhouse" is the third most popular search on Yahoo! right now, just behing the NY Jets and Arrested Development. Hehe.
I think the wikia folks had just gotten behind on it- If Caroline was recruited 2 years before Vows, and Vows is, what, six months after the pilot? Caroline had already been in the house at least a year by the time Alpha sliced Whiskey up, definitely at least a year before Priya came in, there's footage on that.

ETA: Scratch that last Priya bit, that was one year before Belonging, not the pilot. But the point still stands... Ugh, this is why I don't mess with chronology, it's all-consuming!

[ edited by GoldDust12 on 2010-01-10 09:10 ]
@GoldDust12 > In the script, the test subject says: "Wird ein Koordinatensystem K so gewahlt, in bezug auf dasselbe die physikalishcen Gesetze in inher einfachsten Form gelten..." which by translating led me to the Special Relativity page link that had refences not only to Paul Ballard but two different timelines, E1 & E2. A little more googling found me at the phrase regarding Special Relativity "where one observer may observe an event to precede another, while another observer may observe a different order of the events."

The other scalped active sang Verdi’s “Rigoletto” where a father, due to his machinations, gets his daughter killed after he gets her to go undercover for him.
I read the script after you posted the first thing, and it was very interesting... I love all of those structural changes that were made, plus the fact that a Minear script is a great read anyway. And holy German, Batman, that's some fascinating stuff... So it's specified as a "scientific treatise", hmm.

And I'm now 99.5% sure that the scalped active is Olivia's husband. What a night for significant other cameos.
The other scalped active sang Verdi’s “Rigoletto” where a father, due to his machinations, gets his daughter killed after he gets her to go undercover for him.

Which is interesting to me now that my theory to explain the gap between Caroline talking to Boyd and Caroline's intake into the Dollhouse is that he convinces her to do that.
to comment on Boyds ambulatoryness (word?) after ebing shot in the gut, this isnt the first tim e thats happened to him, i forget the name but whe echo was being chased through the woods by crazy bow hunter guy, boyd takes a arrow in the gut,and in the conversaion with Dr. Whiskey, he had already been bandaged and presumably taken painkillers, plus hes just that hardcore
@b!x > Yeah, I'm thinking Alpha was Boyd's first experiment (fail) and Caroline as Echo is his second. He arrives at the Dollhouse just days after Alpha goes rogue, so he decides to be a bit more "hands on" with Echo.

[ edited by buffywrestling on 2010-01-10 11:05 ]
Also if Alpha was his first composite experiment, it might explain how Alpha ends up in Safehaven.
In the script, the test subject says: "Wird ein Koordinatensystem K so gewahlt, in bezug auf dasselbe die physikalishcen Gesetze in inher einfachsten Form gelten..." which by translating led me to the Special Relativity page link that had refences not only to Paul Ballard but two different timelines, E1 & E2.

That's some nice detective work there buffywrestling and I think, a very nice little joke (or brilliant clue) from the creators - that line seems to be a direct quote ([ETA: In fact, checking a translation of the paper, the entire quote I give below is actually the opening paragraph[/ETA]) from "Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitatstheorie" published in Annalen Der Physik 49 in 1916 - which for non-German speakers (of which i'm most definitely one) translates to "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity". Seems like Rossum may have been trying to recreate its author, a German physicist you may have heard of by the name of Albert Einstein ;).

BTW, it translates to:

"[The special theory of relativity is founded upon the following postulate, which is also satisfied by Galilean-Newtonian mechanics:] If a system of coordinates K is chosen such that, with respect to it, physical laws are valid in their simplest form[, then these same laws are also valid with respect to every other system of coordinates K']"

with the actual quote highlighted. The Paul Ballard thing is pure, wonderful coincidence I imagine (as are E1 and E2 I assume, they could be coordinate systems or maybe space-time Events and yep, relativity does indeed tell us that one event may look like it occurs before another event from one frame of reference - or, very loosely, "point of view" - and after it from another. If it is a clue about events in Epitaphs One and Two it's an amazingly subtle one and I salute you for finding it but I also love it as "just" a joke too so either way, good spot, thanks ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2010-01-10 12:12 ]
This is the first time I didn't head straight from watching the show, to comment. I did read all the comments last night, but "WTF?? OMG!! and Holy shit!!!" had all been said. :)

I'm with aiuspsi, eyes of the world and b!X, re. Boyd and there being more to be revealed about his motives. (Sorry guys, you have to back and read the comments, I'm too tired to do it myself and quote). :_)

I am totally in love with Topher (in an age-appropriate Adelle sort of way). And unlike so many others, he's been my favorite character from the very beginning.
Enver gets all the acting kudos for his impeccable technique, and well deserved. But Fran Kranz is magic.

Being a latecomer to this fandom and only discovering Firefly in complete, sequential re-tuns on SciFi, I don't think I've completely understood until now, the lingering pain of the fans who suffered through that sense of loss in real time.

Losing Dollhouse so prematurely, with so much wonderful stuff obviously being crammed into a truncated time frame, is painful.
I'm going to miss this show intensely, for a very long time.
Aww, I want to hug Shey.
Fran and Summer have amazing onscreen chemistry. I'd like to think that if we got a season 4, we would have seen more of this.
Not in season 3 though, in that one Bennett takes a year out to travel the world having wacky adventures. And yep, almost time to start lamenting what might've been. *Sniff*.
Aww, I want to hug Shey.

gossi | January 10, 12:50 CET


I consider myself hugged. :)

And reminded of the ME finger puppet at the end of Becoming pt2 - one tear and "I need a hug".
Which still makes me laugh.
Phew, nice episode.

Re: Boyd's motives, our viewing party came to the conclusion that Boyd is probably doing the Noah. He founded Rossum, developed the tech, saw that it turns out to be less than awesome, and decided - since it cannot be stopped - to at least build a resistance cell to cultivate survival. Building Echo up and nurturing her awakening is part of that, as is letting Caroline into the mix. We still don't know why he already knows that Caroline is special when she walks into that room. I am also wondering why he waited for the Alpha-Incident to join up with the house. He already knew Echo was special (so no new information there) and Alpha composited as an accident building on a character trait that was already in Kraft. That doesn't sound like Cultivated Plan That Backfired to me, so I'm waiting to see how they explain this wait of Boyd's before joining the house and becoming Echos handler.

And I agree that there definitely is a gap between this last flashback in "Getting Closer" and the opening Dialog of "Ghost"; Caroline at least had a shower in the meantime, to get rid of those nasty facial wounds.

Re: timeline, can you post the inconsistencies you found, b!X, maybe we can work out a working version here together?
Thanks Saje! I'm not sure how much of a clue it is either, but the coincidence freaked me out at any rate.
"You know I always had a crush on you, even when I thought you were a dude ... this is better"

:)
Seems like Rossum may have been trying to recreate its author, a German physicist you may have heard of by the name of Albert Einstein ;).

Maybe all of this began with work on (and all the mysteries surrounding the whereabouts of) Einstein's brain?
If I'm remembering correctly, didn't Caroline say she had been put in isolation by Adelle for 3 days, so there was that small space of time there before the sign the contract meeting.
FYI that heretical.com site's content, links, and Googling of same will lead you on an exploration of far right site content. The page happens to quote Einstein and is high in the Google ranking for the quote used in the show.

Here's a link to the PDF of Einstein's theory in the original German for those of you who'd like to explore that more without perusing the other site. The quote used in the show is on the top of the second page.
Saje said:

I wondered if Boyd might be Clyde's best mate from uni in the episodes 9/10 thread but can't take any credit for knowing or predicting it whatsoever - it was pure speculation, a random possibility rather than a reasoned argument (my thinking was Boyd must be something because otherwise he's a very intriguing, likeable but ultimately empty, pointless character that basically goes nowhere from start to finish. Which didn't seem very Whedonesque and as it turns out, wasn't ;).


Exactly, Saje. I too assumed that there had to be a lot more going on or the character really would be pointless (and not very Whedonesque :). In addition, Boyd always seemed to be flying under the radar, particularly with many fans that seemed to ignore the questionable portions of his character and motivations. I believe he was intentionally fashioned to be so likeable by the writing staff as a manner of misdirection. This really started to get under my skin by the time I wrote this in the Ep4 thread. Fans were railing against Topher and Adelle while Boyd seemed to get a free pass.

gossi said:

About the only person I trust in that 'house is Topher, and I doubt he could manage his way out of a paper bag.


Yeah, funny how that happened, isn't it? :) Love it! Character development is a beautiful thing - and the primary reason I'll follow Joss Whedon wherever he chooses to go. When can I shell out some money for my yearly subscription to Mutant Enemy online content??? I'm waiting ever so impatiently :).
If I'm remembering correctly, didn't Caroline say she had been put in isolation by Adelle for 3 days, so there was that small space of time there before the sign the contract meeting.

Yes, but we're not talking about a gap of days. We're talking about a gap of (in my calculations) 1-3 months, or in the Wikia site's calculations up to a year (which I don't believe).

Again, I only started thinking about it because I wanted to explain the costume discrepancy (and I simply don't believe they'd have her go shower and change and randomly give her a camouflage cap), but both ways of reckoning the chronology result in a significant gap.

So, I'll stand by the notion that we have a significant piece of Caroline's story still let to learn. (And I do so like how it could fit in with my season one wondering if Caroline had, for some reason, let herself be captured by Adelle.)
That version of the script is a bit different from what we did in that I changed the German to something, um, else. Other changes, like, "you wanna blow up a building?," I added on the set. And yeah -- opera singing/German speaking guy is Olivia's husband.
My post is right next to Tim's!
Aww, so not a deliberate Einstein joke ? *pouts*

(and I simply don't believe they'd have her go shower and change and randomly give her a camouflage cap)

They may have wanted to hide her brain, it seems to be valuable to them.

FYI that heretical.com site's content, links, and Googling of same will lead you on an exploration of far right site content.

Yikes, that's not such a nice place as it turns out. Didn't look around so I thought it was just the standard quack who claims to have found a flaw in SR, turns out the flaw might boil down to "Albert Einstein was Jewish". Ugh.

And here's the same paper in English (from the site Sunfire linked).
Hello Olivia's husband!
What? Just woke up, groggy, Tim Minear answered my question- what?

They may have wanted to hide her brain, it seems to be valuable to them.

Bahaha, it all makes sense now! Quick, somebody fix her hair! I'm thinking bed-head, but refined and with volume- so long as it hides her special, special brain!
"New volumising Camouflage shade - bring out the real you. Because you're worth it."
I love being a girl... Keep this on the DL, gentlemen, but the real reason women have great hair is to hide our great brains. Same with great shoes- it's how we infiltrate government buildings.
I literally growled back at the screen/monster logo flash, immediately following the ending of this episode. I then proceeded to have a brain meltdown where words were nonfunctional for about ten minutes while my friend just stared and laughed (she has not seen the show but will watch now) and am STILL traumatized by the fact that my favorite actress in the world just shot my second favorite actress IN THE HEAD.

Also still reeling from discovering that the person I considered to be the moral backbone of the show is in fact THE VILLAIN.

I curse you Joss. I curse you Tim. I curse the wicked paths your minds walk on.

And I anxiously hope my curses are ineffective while I impatiently wait for more of the mind-fuck you've sent me into.

"Ow" "I'm Sorry." "Ow" "I'm Sorry." "Ow" "I'm Sorry." "Ow" "I'm Sorry." "Ow" "I'm Sorry." "Ow" "I'm Sorry."
my biggest question is, what happens after Caroline meets Clyde and Boyd? she isn't delivered straight to Adelle. I'm thinking she and Boyd have a talk and maybe they want her to do something? and in the course of that she is let go or allowed to escape and then Adelle captures her, so Adelle thinks she got her and doesn't know about Boyd's/the boss' involvement

just a theory.
That's what I've been saying here. ;)
How does Clyde 1.0 know about Caroline?
Re: German: okay, confused now -- is the relativity stuff the stuff that ended up in the actual show or is it the stuff in the script that Tim Minear changed?

Re: Opera: Very much like the possible Rigoleto plot parallel that someone upstream mentioned. Also worth mentioning that the aria itself, "La Donna e Mobile," is probably an intentional in-joke for the series, since it means "women are fickle/changeable."
Never mind! I looked back, Clyde is all like "there has been talk among security personal they place in here"
Rewatching the Season 1 recap is very interesting in light of the Boyd revelation. Boyd was totally the one sending Paul messages through Actives.
I just rewatched Man on the Street. New meaning now to Boyd saying "I don't need a bonus".
More fodder for the "post-Tucson, Caroline and Boyd were working together" theory: In "A Spy In the House of Love", when Echo gets a new handler but looks at Boyd instead for "with my life", perhaps that wasn't an Echo memory of Boyd as handler, but a Caroline memory of Boyd as partner.

ETA that after I typed that, I went back to actually watch that scene and it's so fucking creepy now. So many scenes that were sweet and/or awesome before now play creepy and disturbing.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2010-01-11 04:42 ]
"What if she goes over your head?"
"I'm very tall."
I suddenly realized. Safe Haven is in the mountains, where Caroline used to live.

The hospital attendant called Adelle because their patient "fit the profile", right? Was it just a profile of a wounded on-the-run girl? Or could it have been something in a brain-scan indicating she was special in some way?
Been wondering about the profile issue. On the one hand, it could just mean "person in trouble who might need to forget some stuff and/or heal", or even the slightly more harsh "person we can blackmail into signing up". On the other hand, did Rossum send out a memo saying "keep an eye out for people with brain scans showing X"?
Unhappy mode on.

I came to this thread to figure out what in the hell happened. Here. Boyd? Whaaaaa?

Instead -- I have been spoiled, I think, on Buffy comics that aren't even out yet.

It would be great if people deleted a bunch of Buffy character names. Please? I'm on the trade paperback plan, and I am sure others will come along later and have the same problem I had.

=(
Andrea I don't see any Buffy comic spoilers in this thread. Do you mean other threads? They should be all spoiler marked and without the spoilers appearing in the headlines. Is there something elsewhere?
Me neither. Unless something came across the Twitter widget, which is exposed on all pages.
It could be the random "Alpha is Twilight?" jokes. But I didn't see any spoilers in this thread either.

You may be on to something B!X. While I love twitteresque, it has made avoiding spoilers impossible on this site. Even if you're avoiding the spoiler threads, if it's a current topic, someone is saying it there.

[ edited by azzers on 2010-01-11 07:09 ]
I wonder if Andrea thought that the revealed spoiler really *is* that Ben and/or Glory are Twilight... but it's okay because once you know that you forget about it right away anyway.
Unless you're Spike.
So, Boyd and Glory are connected in some way ?

Re: German: okay, confused now -- is the relativity stuff the stuff that ended up in the actual show or is it the stuff in the script that Tim Minear changed?

No, according to Tim Minear it didn't end up in the show, it was just in an earlier draft of the script. Pity, liked that (I can't actually make out what he does say now - it's not very distinct and I don't speak German - but it's different). Presumably it might still be significant though or why change it ? Unless Tim uses extracts from "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity" as place-holder "nonsense German", like "Lorem ipsum ..." is to Latin ?

While I love twitteresque, it has made avoiding spoilers impossible on this site.

I just ignore it personally. Not complaining, it just doesn't add anything for me (except the potential for spoilers - happened once and that was enough).
Rewatching the Season 1 recap is very interesting in light of the Boyd revelation. Boyd was totally the one sending Paul messages through Actives.
Sunfire

I thought Boyd was the one person (other than Topher, obviously) who couldn't have altered the "Man on the Street" assassin imprint - he's the person who talks to Topher in the threshold of the latter's office while we can see some movement reflected in the window behind them. Then the door to the imprint room has been opened by the time Topher (and we) go back inside; Boyd must therefore have had an accomplice alter the imprint if he were responsible for that message, at least.
I just ignore it personally. Not complaining, it just doesn't add anything for me (except the potential for spoilers - happened once and that was enough).


While I haven't experienced it myself I've also heard of people being very angry at twitteresque since it's basically spoiling current reveals randomly.

Re Boyd is the spy: What would be his motives for sending the messages? Cultivating Paul as a Very Caring Handler To Be while also getting rid of Dominic, the biggest in-house threat to Echo?
Not sure the device required him to be in the room when the imprint happened. It might be something you load up with whatever data you want to insert and then leave in the chair to do its thing. The "Spy" plotline never made complete sense. Even as an NSA agent using the security job as cover, sending messages to egg on a renegade FBI agent would be against Dominic's larger objective. His real job and his fake job were kind of the same thing, and Paul's investigation was a threat to both. One of the messages was apologetic for distressing Paul. Since when is Dominic concerned about people's feelings?

Boyd's motivations are really unclear with the cliffhanger/reveal ending of "Getting Closer" but if he's working against Rossum's other leadership then Paul is a valuable ally. He's always seemed to be subtly coaching Paul along and he chose Caroline as his mole (idealist, resilient, particularly driven, obsessed with bringing down Rossum). Paul's got the same checklist of traits.
Yeah it really depends on how well they sell Boyd's reasons. On one hand right now I must admit i'm thinking it's a big ask, particularly in two episodes - if he is neutralising the tech behind the rest of Rossum's back then his plan seems way more complicated than it needs to be and also seems to rely totally on people jumping in a specific direction more than once over the course of years or else it all falls apart. On the other hand, long experience has shown me not to underestimate Joss and the gang's ability to write their way out of damn near anything.

And Dominick sending Paul the messages never totally convinced me - couldn't see why he'd do it and couldn't really see him doing it that way either.

Not sure the device required him to be in the room when the imprint happened.

But the door being ajar surely would ? Try as I might, I can't seem to write a macro for that one ;).
Gonna guess that Boyd made Caroline an offer in the Rossum office. He's seen his co-creation taken over by money-power-hungry suits and sees where it's going but he can't stop it from where he is, and he's regretting the gray-area things he's been doing. So he recruits someone he knows is willing to do anything to bring Rossum down and has her prepped somehow (during the missing month-to-year) so that her brain can retain imprints before sending her to Adele. Alpha was a similar plant who went nutso, and this could explain why he fixated on Echo. Maybe they were together during the pre-Adele brainmucking period, even, and Alpha still has feelings for her a la Victor/Sierra. When Alpha blew up, Boyd had himself assigned to the DH to keep a closer eye on his agent.

Anyway, my guess.
As we are coming up on the finish line, I knew things were going to start getting a lot crazier but wow... I think Getting Closer was even crazier than I expected. It's amazing how we can know where everything is heading (Epitaph One) and still be continually shocked by all the twists in the plot. Also - it was cool seeing one of the memories from Epitaph One play out finally! Plus, Topher's descent takes several huge bounds towards the state we find him in Epitaph One when Bennet is shot. OMG! That has to be the shortest time between relationship forming and death in a Joss-verse show. The Tim-reaper strikes again.

I'm still processing the Boyd reveal. I had to watch that scene over a second time it was so shocking. Before this episode, one of the things I really wanted resolved before the series end was Boyd's back-story, but as we neared the end I was fearing that we wouldn't get that (much like we never learned Book's back-story). In the course of a couple minutes we learned who he was. I should have known better - it looks like his back-story was purposefully left vague for a very good reason, yet I was still totally blindsided by the reveal. Of course the co-founder of Rossum had to be somebody we knew, and Boyd would be the person we least suspect. I'm still unclear on his motives - is he causing the apocalypse, or is he trying to prevent it? What is his purpose for Caroline/Echo? Why the need for secrecy as to his identity? Hopefully the next episode will answer everything. The end of civilization approacheth, and I say bring it on!
Gonna guess that Boyd made Caroline an offer in the Rossum office. He's seen his co-creation taken over by money-power-hungry suits and sees where it's going but he can't stop it from where he is...

It does seem as if Boyd is about to make Caroline a proposition at the end of "Getting Closer" though he says she's already special so maybe they don't need to do much to prepare her (though that said, if Echo only actually survives the wipes because her architecture has been altered then that would totally undermine the whole idea of an indomitable essential self which, by undercutting the show's hero entirely, would be very dark AND more consistent in some ways. Is this great but apparently very conventional "heroic team battling insurmountable odds" ending actually a fake-out ? How cool would that be ?).

What needs explaining (for me) is how he can't change things "from where he is" since where he is seems to be, at least when he meets Caroline, pretty near the top - Adelle and Dominick are both fairly terrified of him for instance - and his plan seems to involve a lot of behind the scenes machinations throughout which again, doesn't scream "powerless figurehead" to me. Given how ruthless nuBoyd may be, wouldn't killing Topher and Bennett be one way to prevent the remote wipe technology falling into the wrong hands (or even, possibly, existing at all) ? And if he designed The Attic then wouldn't he know how to dismantle it - and the Rossum mainframe along with it - without needing a two+ year plan involving Echo ? There just seem simpler plans is all. Can't wait to see how the creators work it.
I thought Boyd was the one person (other than Topher, obviously) who couldn't have altered the "Man on the Street" assassin imprint - he's the person who talks to Topher in the threshold of the latter's office while we can see some movement reflected in the window behind them. Then the door to the imprint room has been opened by the time Topher (and we) go back inside; Boyd must therefore have had an accomplice alter the imprint if he were responsible for that message, at least.


Maybe someone can confirm, but I thought it was really cool that the FIRST PERSON Topher suspects of espionage was BOYD, Mercenary. And, the only answer Boyd provides was "I didn't do it", which Topher takes at face value. If Boyd was the spy, talk about ballsy-in-plain-sight (which would fit everything else we know about him).

I re-watched E1 and the entire second season. Looks like the writers left little clues to suspect Boyd (and I only found two) all along. In the first episode of S2 "Vows", when Adelle & Boyd talk about Paul, suspecting him to be leaking information to Senator Perrin... Boyd leaves and Paul says "I'd be more worried about the intentions of Boyd" or some nonsense like that. Then, as someone else already mentioned, in The Attic episode, Boyd gives out his evil laughter.

Side Q:

1) Even with what we know, do we still have any idea on why people are drawn to Echo/Caroline? Alpha is convinced he's in love with her. Paul loves Caroline... perhaps they're being groomed to love her? Someone mentioned the whole Noah's Ark approach as Boyd's plan- maybe when Alpha went all "killer", Boyd starting leaking info to Ballard to groom him for Echo? And now that he has Active architecture... I don't know. Still want to know why they're all obsessed with her.

2) Besides them meeting at Rossum HQ, does anyone else think Boyd knew Caroline from somewhere else? Or was he just drawn to her destruction? I don't care what evil plans he may have, he seems to genuinely care about her for quite some time.

3) What was up with Paul's eyes in the Attic episode when Echo is with him in the elevator?

4) What about Whiskey? I keep feeling like she's attached to this all somehow, besides the fact that her life turned to crap because Alpha loved Echo. There's got to be more to it, right? Why would Boyd pick her as his partner? Do you ever think we'll find out who she is?
Going with the "Boyd isn't bad" philosophy (although as I said I prefer it if he actually is), it could also be noted that we've only heard the story so far from Clyde 1.0's POV. In truth, the reason there may be a "compliant" Clyde running around is that perhaps the original was unstable, dangerously ambitious, and already plotting against Boyd. And in that little game, he lost. So Boyd is then not really reforming, he was never really THAT guy.

Because if Boyd actually is an OK guy, then why is Clyde still in the attic?
Well, Clyde could be the evil one masquerading as good, I suppose. Might be a bit of a cop out on the big reveal of Boyd, but it could be that the reason we have a "Clyde 2.0" is so that Boyd can have his intelligence without his evil.
I think as co-founder of Rossum and skilled body disappear-er Boyd is probably not all that good of a guy. Even in a best case very twisty scenario where he's trying to save the world from Rossum because it's all gotten out of hand.
Given how ruthless nuBoyd may be, wouldn't killing Topher and Bennett be one way to prevent the remote wipe technology falling into the wrong hands (or even, possibly, existing at all) ? And if he designed The Attic then wouldn't he know how to dismantle it - and the Rossum mainframe along with it - without needing a two+ year plan involving Echo ? There just seem simpler plans is all. Can't wait to see how the creators work it.


I'd say his plan is effectively not really concerned with shortcuts like killing Topher because he is probably the only one understanding what Adelle never got to understand: The tech's out there. You can't undo it, and if you kill one guy who could come up with more horrible stuff while toying around with it, another person might step in and invent it anyway. Shutting down the company and deleting everything was probably a possible shortcut while he was running it alone from his garage, but it seems like he realized the implications later and decided: He cannot undo it, only delay it. So the best he can hope for is to cultivate a place that's going to be resistant. Which probably isn't doable without a multiyear-plan involving Caroline/Echo using the exact same resources any shortcut would actually make unusable.
Re: Boyd at the door while the imprint is altered...

I always assumed that Boyd was in on that and deliberately distracting Topher while someone else was going in behind him to actually do the adjusting. I never really bought that it was Dominick, either; I thought maybe Boyd and Ivy, or Boyd and Claire, were in it together.

Now that we know who Boyd IS, the identity of his ally becomes almost immaterial: he had a whole house full of dolls that could have done it for him! It *would* be interesting if Claire had been working for him even that far back, though, wouldn't it?
... He cannot undo it, only delay it. So the best he can hope for is to cultivate a place that's going to be resistant. Which probably isn't doable without a multiyear-plan involving Caroline/Echo using the exact same resources any shortcut would actually make unusable.

Ah, wiesengrund, are you saying you think Echo herself is the plan i.e. that the purpose is to find a way for people to maintain a coherent identity despite being blasted with multiple imprints ? Cos I like that idea quite a bit and while that would need something long-term, the actual details wouldn't necessarily be that important, the whole plan wouldn't necessarily be brought down by e.g. Ballard/Adelle/Topher/etc. zigging when Boyd needed them to zag.

And it'd explain his clear affection for Echo since she's not only a daughter surrogate to him, she's also (as he sees it) the saviour of humanity, a very valuable "prototype" and the culmination of years of work.
That's exactly how I see it. He knows she's special from the get go (which will still need some explanation) but once Caroline falls into his lap, he puts her in there and waits for the years to come, silently helping her grow (something that quite possibly cannot be rushed since it's never been done before), and keeping everything around her in a state where she actually can grow. Building an Ark via Echo, that's the scenario that makes most sense to me right now.

And you're right that doesn't need any micro-planning. He probably chose the LA Dollhouse because he knew the predispositions of the people there (Adelle had a weak spot for Actives and the curiosity to let Echo's development happen; Topher would be open to and awesomed by a Super-Echo...) and being there he could eliminate in-house threats like Dominic. (He probably joined up after the Alpha-incident since he realized that just putting her there doesn't mean she's safe.) I could even see a scenario where the whole DC storyline was a test to see how well the LA branch will fight against Rossum on a small, national scale, before having to face them on the world-ending scale...
I really like that theory, wiesengrund. :)
Yep, it's now my current king of the speculation hill, nice one wiesengrund ;).
Oh nice. So a cohesive theory is possible... I can stop shaking under the weight of things I don't understand about this show. :)
Well, there's still stuff that could be addressed to make it more sound, you know. ;) For instance, the question why he already knows Caroline is special when she walks into the room. Or why exactly he waited for the Alpha-incident to join up as her handler (it's okay to say, well the house he put her in was nearly completely wiped out by one "technological anomaly" he probably didn't forsee, but maybe there's more to that...). It also is a gutsy call to plant the messages, although three outcomes of that worked for him from that perspective: He got rid of the in-house threat Dominic, became his successor which brings him more maneuverability in the house he wants to build up as the resistance and it brought Paul closer to become a worthy handler-successor in terms of Echo/Caroline-obsession. How well Boyd could have anticipated all of that still remains a huge questionmark, but it is not unthinkable that such a coherent idea could be at play here.

And to be fair, this idea was collectively formed at our viewing party for "Getting Closer" with the main input coming from my girlfriend. Kudos to her. :)
Well, yay wiesengrund's girlfriend with the theories that make sense! I finally got to watch this, though hulu was annoyingly glitchy.

And. Well, I've been saying I wanted more Boyd, I guess. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I liked the Caroline and Bennett stuff. I dunno, I felt like too much was happening in this episode, but maybe it was just glitchy hulu (or glitchy my internets) making it seem rushed / unsmooth. Or possibly my glitchy brain just not keeping up. If Boyd is Evil, I'm sad.

I'm not sure I liked this ep, actually. But I'm very eager for next week's.
Even more amazing than I could have guessed, not that I'm such a stupendous guesser. I've never like Topher, and still don't, but I don't despise him anymore.

Is it possible Boyd became as Echo's handler so he could use her to avert Clive/Clyde's "worst nightmare" of a future?
3) What was up with Paul's eyes in the Attic episode when Echo is with him in the elevator?

Things like that happen in the Black Lodge. Just like backwards laughter.
ahahahahahuM !
Caroline is still a mystery. Adelle's pejorative comments have little weight with me, considering the source. (I've never liked Adelle. She should have stayed with stem cells, imo.) Some posters earlier condemned Caroline because of her (Caroline's) opposition to animal torture.

Caroline may not be an angel, but no one in the Jossverse is. I don't recall ever seeing where Paul's initial obsession with her came from, and I don't know what Topher did in Paul's imprint.

I'm very interested in seeing how Caroline composites with the house party in Echo's head. They may merge very well. After all, we've just been given pieces of Caroline from sources of varying reliability.

I also like Anthony and Priya getting a few hours to themselves.
I love the Black Lodge. It just seemed interesting to me that the only two images that Echo personally knows are Paul & Boyd. Both happen to have been her handlers, both are champions for the evolved-Echo... one has evil laughter that could allude to the inevitable reveal in "Getting Closer"... I was just wondering if the eyes could be significant of anything.

Are her champions her demons? Are they actually cheering her to the death of Echo and the re-birth of Caroline?

Does anyone remember what Paul says when his eyes are like that?

*hmmm... cherry pie & coffee*
Finally saw this. Yay for my spoiler-avoidance (and lack of predictive skill)--completely shocked by Claire-as-murderer and Boyd-as-Senior Partner. Love wiesengrund's girlfriend's theory...hope the writers are just as clever. But at least we don't have to worry about Boyd being another unresolved Shepard Book-type mystery.
It's amazing how we can know where everything is heading (Epitaph One) and still be continually shocked by all the twists in the plot
I haven't seen Epitaph One yet, as I was saving it for the end - should I watch it early?
I don't think Epitaph One makes sense if you watch it after Epitaph Two.
You should watch "Epitaph One" (via iTunes, Amazon, DVR, etc.) on the final day of Watch DOLLHOUSE Week: Series Finale Edition, right before "Epitaph Two" airs. ;)
I feel so late to the party! I just caught up with most of this season in the last two days.

Wow! Just Wow! So much imagination in this last batch of episodes. I did not see the Bennett or Boyd scenes coming. Knocked my socks clean off. Topher and Adelle have also become two of my all time favorite characters. I think Topher has had a Weasley level arc in a comparatively much shorter timeframe.

My only complaints at all with any episodes Public Eye onwards is that it all seems to feel a little rushed, and it kind of never has the chance to let the characterisation settle. But obviously, that's easily forgiven, what else were they going to do.

I do wish the show had the back half of the season in order for it to breathe a little bit more... but I actually think this season of Dollhouse stands up pretty well with everything else Joss Whedon has done in the best, which was a nearly impossible task in imo.
Paul says "I'm a ghost - you can't fight a ghost" in the elevator with Echo in "The Attic".

Also, I'd like to join the legions of those who like wiesengrund's (girlfriend's) theory. In support of the idea that Boyd has had some hand in the creation of 'Safe Haven' is the pull toward someplace in the mountains Echo has felt whenever she's glitched - that could be the location of the budding Safe Haven, known to Echo as a deeply buried parameter, placed there by Boyd before she entered the 'house.
I'm still thinking about my beloved Boyd being an evil (or... ambiguous) mastermind and feeling cranky about it. It feels a little "and it was all a dream!"-ish to me... a lot of what I've really loved (Boyd and Echo in the Target, that growing bond) is Not Real, or at least, Not What It Seemed. And of course that's the point, I know, the viewer feels the deep shock and betrayal that Echo (presumably) feels. But at the moment, I don't like it. It feels like a cheap shock at the expense of something wonderful. Reserving the right to eat my words and rave at the genius of this twist next week, however ;).
Paul says "I'm a ghost - you can't fight a ghost" in the elevator with Echo in "The Attic".

Ah, thanks Mercenary. That had been bothering me.

Ghost of the man she used to know? Can't fight a ghost... maybe that's why she let Alpha (with Ballard's personality) go.

Perhaps Caroline herself is a "ghost" to Echo. Not presently in her head, but she's seeing through lived-in eyes. And everyone views her as another. Caroline does haunt Echo everywhere she turns.

Ballard's eyes are white and opaque (closed off, you could say), while Boyd has mansions, with big windows in his. One is shut-off from her because of his love for her ghost Caroline, the other spacious and inviting like shelter from the impending apocalypse.

Anyone else want to take a stab at the eyes/ghost thing? I know it's grasping at straws, but we have a whole 'nother day and I want to talk Dollhouse. If you squint really hard, you can see that I'm onto something. ;)
I wouldn't say Caroline is Echo's ghost, for me it's the other way around. The Dollhouse technology (not the original selves) was always coded as the afterlife in the show (actually a ton of references for that idea in only 24 episodes: Eleonore Penn, Rebecca Mynor, Margaret Bashford, basically all of E1, induced by the kitchen scene, and Emily Jordan come to mind) and the real people "may as well have been murdered", with empty shadows of themselves living on.

In other words: Paul is a ghost, because he's just become an Active.
wiesengrund, thanks for playing!

I agree but disagree with you. Totally accurate remark about Echo having her imprints... being a ghost of them, so to speak. In "A Love Supreme", Joel Mynor even references such as "I had no idea that Rebecca would live on after I stopped requesting her". Rebecca is a ghost in two ways: 1) The actual Rebecca is dead and 2) the imprint Rebecca has been cast aside and even wiped... yet still goes on. Very astute of you.

"I am all of them, but none of them is me."

I think that is the counter argument. Echo's imprints are ghosts; she is everyone of them, but NONE of them are Caroline. She does not have Caroline in her. No memories, no habits, nothing. Now we could argue that Echo is Caroline stripped away (at least, in the past we could), but once Echo made a decision that she wasn't Caroline, she wasn't. And hasn't been. Echo rejects the impressions others place upon her. Paul keeps thinking she's Caroline, which she gets offended by. Adelle has beef with Caroline, not Echo. Echo even offers to hold down Caroline so that Bennet can beat up Caroline.

When she grabs Paul's hand and affirms "I'm me. I'm real," she's allowing us to see that Echo has divorced herself from the past. Yet she is still haunted by Caroline's previous actions. Those actions led her into the Dollhouse and have made enemies for her.

So, ghostiness two-fold? Caroline is ghost > Echo who is ghost > Imprints (like Rebecca Mynor)

Paul is a ghost, but Echo doesn't know that while she's in the Attic (she finds out after). Could be intuition, I guess. Or...

Playing with your "Echo is a ghost theme", it could be that because Paul doesn't believe in ghosts (he still believes she's Caroline, even after all they've been through), he can't see Echo. Can't see her for who she really is, which could be why she is quick to understand and accept what possibility of love between them could have been, it wouldn't have lasted (and not do to Activating Paul; he couldn't love her for her).

Paul even uses words that Echo herself has said. Echoing Echo, as to say. Those words were "echoed" from Elenore Penn, when she confronts the man who "killed her" (via rape). Which is funny because coming from Paul's mouth we can parallel that to Echo/Caroline "killing Paul" (via brain-wipe & Active). Ooooh, I like that. Not only can he not see the real Echo, but she is responsible for his death. And when I say she, I mean Caroline; but he blames Echo because he thinks she's really Caroline. *chills*

On the flip-side, knowing what we know of Boyd, we could actually say that he saw Echo for Echo. Her potential to be whatever he needed her to be (in the theory that she is the key to saving the world by resisting multiple imprints).

Which is why his eyes aren't clouded. He knew the potential in Caroline even before Echo. The comment of "you have no friends" is hard to place because we do not know the relationship outcome, but his laughter at Echo is significant. Besides the evil "muah ha ha" moment, he is laughing at her. Like a child. As if the joke (that only he knows) is going over her head and she can't yet understand.

If you think about it, neither of her "champions" are talking directly to her. One is speaking as if she's someone else, and the other is laughing at an unshared moment of understanding.

This is great! More! More! What do you think, wiesengrund?
He's either a great actor, or his love for Echo, at the very least, was real

Exactly, why must evildoer = can't love anyone?
Well, there's still stuff that could be addressed to make it more sound, you know. ;) For instance, the question why he already knows Caroline is special when she walks into the room.

Rossum has been tracking Caroline for some time- perhaps just worrying about what she knows and what she might do. But given what Rossum does, I can see that the higher ups might also check her out as a possible candidate for doll-ism -as a solution to the problem that is her activism.
Boyd: Topher says it’s like childbirth. I think it’s more like watching someone die.

Topher’s Man-Frenemy is describing the imprinting process to Ballard, but he could be describing two essential aspects of rebirth rituals. One essential aspect is beautiful: the birth of the new self. The other essential aspects is terrifying: the death of the old self. Before you are reborn, the old you must die.


Taken from Pointy's blog. This is an excellent read and even does a better job at assessing Actives vs. Originals than my "ghosts" theory. You should totally check it out. :)

ETA: Fixed link.

[ edited by korkster on 2010-01-15 04:02 ]
Interesting points about Whiskey's original self being uncaring. Could Boyd have been the one to take Caroline's wedge and put some/all of Caroline into Whiskey during Whiskey's absence from the dollhouse, in an effort to cause Whiskey to composite into a more caring person (or for some reason relating to who Caroline was before entering the dollhouse)? If Whiskey wanted to keep the Caroline personality to herself, or to protect Boyd's identity or other information known only to Caroline, that would give her a reason to shoot Bennett and explain why Whiskey and Echo/Caroline are fighting in the promo photos.
I'm still not convinced Claire was acting on anyone's orders/imprints. Her genuine hatred of Topher seems like motivation enough to me, but I guess we'll find out soon enough what happened during her time out.

As for the ghost thing: Yeah, I should have clarified that, the imprints are ghosts of the persons they were created out of, but Echo as a composited, aware personality of her own is the ghost for Caroline. Like all aware ghosts, she rejects her former life. (A point that is still massivly unexplored in discussions of the show since it is the actual counter argument to the usual "You cannot wipe away a soul."- essentialism the show sometimes articulates.) But that doesn't make Caroline a ghost in my opinion. Echo is "haunted" by Caroline because people keep matching them, but that's a predication from the outside. Same as the "need" to confront Caroline, which was also induced by others (Alpha, Paul, Boyd). Echo herself has questioned that essentialism time and again, and I think that's why I don't see Caroline as anything else but an outside predication on Echo, not her ghost.

It's interesting to me how Boyd emphasized the death-aspect of the imprint process. Because at first glance, I thought he was talking about the general idea of becoming a doll, the central moment of rebirth. But taking the scene at face value, it appears to me he is commenting on the specific imprinting of a personality onto a blank slate. Which would be very weird, since it would suggest that Boyd considers the blank slate to be a person with an identity and a will to live. But the main point could be something else: Maybe Boyd considers this particular moment to be a stripping of one's agency, just as Adelle describes an Active's life as deeds without consequences. When a doll gets imprinted, actions don't matter because they won't leave an impression on the person doing them. This could have been his original insight into the uglymess of the tech. An attempt to nurture a doll whose actions do matter would fit nicely with such a reading.

Or was he talking about wipes?
I'm still not convinced Claire was acting on anyone's orders/imprints. Her genuine hatred of Topher seems like motivation enough to me, but I guess we'll find out soon enough what happened during her time out.

I completely agree that Claire was acting out of hatred. But I don't see that as a contradiction to Whiskey's basic self. As Pointy pointed (ha!) out, her actions/observations come from a root of self-engrossment. It's all about her. She will even interrupt people and make the "I used to be #1" statement, which may have no context to the scenario at all. (See Claire's opening statement to Bennet before the whole "love" talk.)

At the end of "Omega", she's afraid to find out who she was. To face her demons (like Echo is having to do). In "Vows", she even tells Topher so. (I really like that she would be afraid that her genuine care for others is all imprinted.)

What if you could read the "I've run out of excuses" note to be more of I've run out of excuses to care for the Dollhouse & Actives anymore?

The next time we see her in "Getting Closer", she is being a-typical of our usual Dr. Saunders. She had a relationship with Boyd, and heads back in. Treating Topher may have been more of a habit than a choice. She seemed more interested in the shock of people discovering her that tending to his lip.

And the reveal. She wasn't in the Dollhouse for too long before she shot Bennet. She saw an opportunity to "treat herself" at the expense of others (which tracks with Whiskey's base behavior) and she acted out on it.

She may not be her original personality, but she's definitely not Dr. Saunders. Perhaps she's like Echo, pre-choice-composite-awareness.

As for the ghost thing: Yeah, I should have clarified that, the imprints are ghosts of the persons they were created out of, but Echo as a composited, aware personality of her own is the ghost for Caroline. Like all aware ghosts, she rejects her former life.

I still don't quite agree with this, but we're getting closer. ;)

I don't think ghosts reject their former life. If anything, they reject their current situation (non-existence/heaven/hell/what-have-you) which is why their haunting the living. And they usually pick places that are comfortable/familiar with them. Isn't that why priests will cast out spirits and demand that they go back to where they "belong"? Or why psychics will try to resolve a ghost's conflicts so that they may move on to the place they're supposed to be?

With my explanation of ghosts (which may not be yours), I see that Echo is not the ghost of Caroline. 1) She rejects her former life. She doesn't long to find Caroline. 2) She's accepted her current level of being (moved on to hell/heaven/etc). She's Echo, and she's here in the present.

"You cannot wipe away a soul."- essentialism the show sometimes articulates

Maybe the point is: "You cannot wipe away a soul, but you can wipe away a person."

Wouldn't that fit well into re-incarnation? A person, stripped of their experiences and memories and personality are transformed into another being to learn a different set of life lessons, whether that be in a cockroach or an elephant. Same soul, two different bodies with not much in common.

Although I may not agree with you on the "Echo is Caroline's ghost", I do concur with "Caroline is not really a ghost".

You're right. Other people look at Echo and see something/someone else. I understand the confusion an elephant would have if another tried to explain that they are actually a cockroach. The shine/spirit/soul may be the same, but the united person (soul/mind/body) are quite different.

That's not to say that the Inducers (Alpha, Adelle, Bennet, Paul) don't see that spark of Caroline, like in a "you look so much like your father" kind of way. But with the mind minds of Echo, she is no longer Caroline. So it's a "haunting", but a faux-haunting.

Echo herself has questioned that essentialism time and again, and I think that's why I don't see Caroline as anything else but an outside predication on Echo, not her ghost.

I agree on this point. But that "you can't wipe away a soul" is more complex because of the mind and body aspects added make a person. Echo is not Caroline, if for anything because she's been imprinted with many minds, and none are Caroline's.

When (or if) Caroline is ever successfully imprinted into Echo, neither will be either. Caroline won't reclaim Echo (because the minds don't match), but Echo will *evolve* as well with another mind added to the flock.

If they ever do come together, Caroline will cease to be a "living" Caroline, but more rather a ghost of Caroline.

As Boyd said, it's a death process. Entering your body with "Active Architecture" doesn't make you "you". It makes you someone else. And if you're not you, you're dead. And re-born into someone else.

Ah! That's great! It's makes sense to me now! Well, some of it at least. ;)

I like your take on Boyd's perspective, because it would fit very nicely into our theory. I'm not sure it matters though if he's talking about making/imprinting/wiping a doll. Each time they are put into the chair, whatever agency they currently have is killed and replaced with another. Perhaps he sees the souls as the only thing that can transition between one and another. And if the soul is the most important thing (as religions would claim), then perhaps his goal is to save souls, not necessarily people.

Wouldn't that fit with Buddhism? Or at least the Hero's cycle? Many journeys on the way to achieving the understanding of the Self/Soul. Each journey has it's own lessons to learn (could be each imprint), all combining to utter enrichment. Perhaps this last imprint (Caroline) will give her what she needs to reach that "heaven".

I could go on about how denying/destroying the original personality means that neither Whiskey/Alpha will be allowed to enter "heaven" because they never reached self-fulfillment, but this is long enough. ;)

What do you think?
Well, I finally read through the entire thread (just in time for another episode, eh?) Great theories everyone! I'm really going to miss this. There aren't many shows out there where you can have such deep discussions - not only about the twists of the plot and character motivations, but also about the very nature of self. That really makes Joss shows special.
I totally agree with you, AnotherFireflyfan. Hence my frantic posts trying to soak up every morsel- because as of February, we'll have no more cake. :(

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