Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Allan Kroeker
Shenanigans seem to be happening at one of those fanatical religious cult compounds, in a state with a senator who is a Dollhouse client. He wants them to send in an active to help find out if something is actually wrong there. Echo’s up! They do eye surgery on her to make her blind but her eyes cameras for the FBI, because I guess the FBI wouldn’t question a blind girl with cameras for eyes? As she’s sincerely trying to join the cult, her camera eyes give the feds video proof that the cult’s leader has a whole arsenal of automatic weapons. It turns out that the only reason the FBI had a lead to check them out was that the head of the taskforce planted evidence and started rumors himself. Boyd isn’t happy with him. The criminal with the arsenal decides the only way to avoid his federal trouble is to burn all of his followers alive? Super unclear on how he reached that conclusion. Did he genuinely start believing and just decide he needed to orchestrate a miracle? Because that’s insane. Whatever. Echo knocks him out and gets all the other cultists to safety, and then Dominic barges in and knocks her out. Boyd arrives in time to save her, though. Back at the Dollhouse, Topher and Dr. Saunders realize that Victor has “man reactions” whenever he and Sierra are both in the shower at the same time. Adelle orders Victor “scrubbed” so it won’t happen again. And Agent Ballard is getting closer to the Dollhouse. He spotted Echo on the news footage about the cult compound, and he keeps getting more mysterious packages about her in his work mail. Mellie keeps baking food for him, hoping he’ll notice her.
This has a pretty obvious parallel between the blank slate dolls and the cult members. Innocent, completely unassuming, childlike people who seem to have very little will of their own and are extremely trusting. Both are parallels to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I’m pretty okay with this metaphor, actually, but this episode annoys me for similar reasons as Firefly’s “Safe,” because the devoutly religious people are portrayed as sweet but super naïve. Granted, I think people who live in religious compounds are misguided at best, but again it’s the lack of representation of level-headed religious characters that makes this type of storyline a problem.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Echo continues to be incredibly perceptive, wiped or not. She knows Dominic is bad, even though she’s not supposed to remember that.
So…Victor likes Sierra. Yeah, not much more to say about that yet (but holy crap I ship them so hard).
I like that Adelle is intrigued by Echo’s potential. She doesn’t find it odd or impossible that Echo would show ingenuity across her different imprints; she thinks it makes Echo one of their best Actives. But shouldn’t she be asking herself how Echo manages to retain a quality like ingenuity despite multiple mind wipes? Or is she cool with it because she believes in the soul?
Dominic isn’t just being a jerk. He’s worried Echo’s about to become another Alpha. I guess that’s fair. But it’s no cause to be mean to Echo before she’s done anything wrong. He could just be taking precautions and urging Adelle and Topher to be careful with her. Not punching her in the face and leaving her to die in a fire. Sheesh.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.