Written by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon
Directed by John Cassaday
Echo wakes up in the attic and breaks Tony and Priya out too. But then an invisible wall appears between them and Tony and Priya get gunned down. Because Echo is still in the Attic, which seems to be like living in a nightmare. Outside, Topher is struggling to piece Ballard’s mind back together so he can wake him up. He’ll need to use Active architecture for that, meaning that Paul will be a doll if he regains consciousness. Adelle likes the idea of tweaking his personality to get rid of some of the characteristics she finds troublesome. Echo keeps replaying the nightmare, adapting and getting farther each time. Now there’s a big snowy tree in the middle of the spa part of the Dollhouse. Around it, she can see each of her lives. She sees Boyd, who laughs like a maniac. There’s a freaky black thing that keeps attacking her, and then Laurence Dominic shows up. They figure out that the Attic is a network of connected minds. The next one they go to is the mind of a Japanese man eating dinner. Ivy goes all quiet and serious after meeting with Adelle, who then threatens Topher. In Priya’s mind, she’s having sex with Tony when she gets attacked by zombie Nolan. In Tony’s, he’s back in the war zone, where he faces off against an enemy who turns out to be himself. The Japanese guy in the attic has no legs, because they’re what’s for dinner. The monster (Arcane) kills him, which means that node of the Attic is shutting down. Echo and Dominic escape by eating some of his leg meat, because you can only get out through the person’s worst fears. They make it to Tony’s mind just in time to save him from Arcane. The three of them attack him in Priya’s mind, and they all crash into an apocalyptic burn-out city. Arcane turns into a wimpy British dude named Clyde. He’s been killing people in an attempt to destroy Rossum’s mainframe, which is the brains of the people in the Attic. Clyde is one of the founders of Rossum, and he knows where its technology will take the world. He’s been in the Attic since ’93, and according to his calculations there’s a 97% chance that Rossum will destroy civilization. The only person who knows the identity of the traitorous partner and Clyde 2.0 is Caroline Farrell. Echo takes a chance and lets herself get shot to get out of the Attic. Ballard wakes up as a brain-scrambled doll. It takes him a bit to sort out his rewired brain and speak properly. He grabs Boyd’s gun and goes to face off against Adelle. Echo flatlines and gets unplugged, and then she successfully fights her way out. Tony stabs Priya, then goes outside and lets the Butchers kill him. Echo does CPR on them in the real world. Turns out, Adelle sent them to the Attic as inside agents. Echo accepts that it’s time for her to get Caroline back.
This episode is amazing. It’s like a combination of The Matrix and Inception. The Attic is terrifying and surreal, and Rossum’s purpose for it makes horrific sense. I love that Dominic was still in there, and that he and Echo got to team up and eventually reconcile.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
One of the most impressive things about Echo so far is her willingness to face her own fears. We’ve seen many examples of how much she prioritizes the safety of others, and now we see the strength that gives her. This show is largely about the importance of the mind, the integrity of the self, so it’s almost ironic that the girl who saves the day does it by being selfless. I love it.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.