Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Tim Minear
There’s a flashback to when Caroline first learned about the Dollhouse. She seduced a security guard and broke into Adelle’s office. That’s how she learned about Bennett and the creepy basement with blank people in it. In the present, the hard drive with Caroline on it is missing. More flashbacks! Caroline goes to Bennett’s university and becomes her friend to get access to Rossum. Paul and Tony kidnap Bennett out of the D.C. house, with the help of a corrupted imprint from Topher. But Paul insists on rescuing Madeline too. In the past, Caroline gave Bennett an awesome makeover, and started feeling guilty about using her. Boyd goes to visit Saunders, who is in a secret apartment. And they’re together! Echo realizes that Topher had to use Paul’s feelings for her to wake him up, which means he no longer has those. Bennett confronts Caroline about the file she has on her. Surprisingly, she’s less angry that Caroline was using her and more upset that she’s not trusting her to do everything she can. Echo gets Tony and Priya out for good before they lock the building down, but then Dominic stumbles into her, fresh from the Attic, warning her that Rossum is onto them and Clyde is dead. Adelle orders all the dolls restored to their original selves and freed so that they can go to Tucson and stop Rossum. In the past, Bennett and Caroline infiltrated one of Rossum’s labs so that they could blow it up, but Caroline found a lab with human subjects in it and went off the plan. There’s a guy with his skull cut open singing opera. Adelle orders Dominic put back in the Attic. For some very stupid reason, they imprint November to be Mellie again instead of Madeline. Clive Ambrose is waiting in Adelle’s office, but Boyd kills him and his guards. And takes a bullet to the side. In the past, the bombs went off, pinning Bennett down in the rubble. Caroline saw Adelle and Dominic coming on a monitor, so she made it look like Bennett was just working there and got caught in the explosion so that she’d be safe from the consequences. Then she left. (Bennett remembers that moment differently.) In the present, Echo offers to let Bennett do whatever she wants to Caroline if she just helps bring her back. Boyd and Claire share a tearful goodbye, the one we saw in “Epitaph One.” Topher and Bennett share the nerdiest kiss, which hurts because of his split lip from her punching him earlier. And then Claire walks in and shoots her in the head, just as Topher’s walking into the room with more equipment. It’s very much a “Your shirt.” type sudden death in front of the love interest. Topher is shattered by it, but at least he can bring back Caroline. Topher sends Ivy away so she won’t die or become him. *wibble* A bunch of ninja special ops dudes come in. Paul goes to hold them off. Adelle and Mellie leave, and Topher imprints Caroline into Echo. Someone comes to shoot them, but Boyd snaps his neck. We get the final flashback, which is of Caroline meeting Clyde 2.0 and the big boss. Who is Boyd. He wanted Caroline to become an active for reasons unknown.
This episode is upsetting. Certain parts feel contrived (that Topher didn't make a new backup Caroline wedge), others retconned (evil Boyd), others extremely stupid (Adelle insisting on bringing Madeline in as Mellie rather than herself), and still others agonizingly painful (Bennett's death). Bah.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Okay, now Caroline is somewhat interesting. When she was just an over-zealous animal rights activist, she was rather irritating, but now she’s the kind of person who won’t give up a fight, no matter how steep the odds. She uses and manipulates people, which would be horrible, except that, in Bennett’s case at least, she did actually care about her after they spent enough time bonding as friends, and she did everything she could to protect her and take the fall herself. Too bad Bennett didn’t understand that.
The Boyd reveal is the single most aggravating twist in any show I’ve seen. I mean, I’ve watched some extremely aggravating twists before, but not in a show this good overall. I expect better from a Joss Whedon series than for the Giles character to have suddenly been evil all along. We got hints about Boyd having a shady background as a dirty cop or as a mafia guy or something, but never any hints about him being the head of Rossum. How about when he was high on that memory drug in S1? Evil Boyd would’ve hinted at evilness while high. It’s just sloppy, a cheap opportunity to pull the rug out from under the viewers. If it had been properly foreshadowed, this could’ve been one of the best twists ever, because it definitely is devastating and horrible for the man Echo has trusted like a father for so long to turn out to be the evil mastermind behind everything. Alas.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.