“Meet Jane Doe”
Written by Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, and Andrew Chambliss
Directed by Dwight Little
Mr. Harding of Rossum has taken over the L.A. Dollhouse, with Adelle relegated to essentially being his secretary, and Echo is still out on her own. One of the first things she does is steal food from a grocery store and try to give it to a Hispanic woman who hadn’t eaten in days, but the woman was caught and put in jail even though Echo escaped. Fast-forward several months later, and Topher is like a rockstar in the Dollhouse, impressing everyone left and right with his spiffy new gadget that can remote-wipe any doll like a stun gun. Adelle is building up an internal volcano of rage about the situation. Topher shows her that he’s actually figured out that Rossum wanted each Dollhouse working on bits of a larger, much scarier technology...which Topher made. He showed off the remote wipe technology to appease Harding, but he figured out how to make something that could instantly and remotely imprint anyone, doll or not. Adelle steals his plans and hands them over to Harding in exchange for getting her house back, to Topher’s disbelieving horror. Echo has been spending the intermittent time working with Paul on getting Galena out of jail, using this challenge as a way of practicing getting mastery over her past imprints. She’s very capable, and she gets better and better at switching between personalities on a dime, but it comes at the cost of nearly debilitating headaches. Still, she eventually succeeds. She’s also developed very strong feelings for Paul, and just when she succeeds in convincing him she legitimately wants to be with him, Boyd (who has been in cahoots with them this whole time) comes to bring them back to the Dollhouse.
This episode isn’t as good as the last few. It feels like this is where the cancellation verdict started impacting the storyline, because why would you do a timeskip and escalate Echo’s development and Rossum’s evil plans so much if you didn’t already know you were getting cancelled and that you only had five episodes left to wrap everything up? I vaguely remember feeling like the second half of season two was a fast-paced thrill ride that had a bit less substance than the rest of the show (at least, as of “Man on the Street”) the first time I saw it, and I think I’m probably going to stick to that verdict this time around.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
So did Adelle just do a face-heel turn? Does she genuinely want to be on Rossum’s side of what’s coming now? Or was she just sick of being the secretary and being powerless to help the dolls she viewed as being in her protection? Because I don’t think there’s any good she can do as the head of the L.A. Dollhouse that will make up for the damage Rossum will do with Topher’s indiscriminate remote wiping tech. I really hope we see her regretting this decision soon, because I want very much to keep liking her.
Topher is becoming an increasingly moral character this season, but he’s still far too curious and inquisitive for his own good. He didn’t need to actually draw up those plans; he could have just theorized and then made sure nobody else got far enough to actually pull off that technology. Instead, he does everything short of building a prototype, and then he tells Adelle, who mere months previous told him to his face that she hired him because he was so amoral. They’ve had some good moments together, but is he really naïve enough to trust someone as ambitious as her with such a dangerous secret?
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.