“The Hollow Men”
Written by Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters, and Tracy Bellomo
Directed by Terrence O’Hara
The reason evil Boyd wanted Caroline is that apparently her body produces a unique neurotransmitter or something that can builds immunity to imprinting. In the present, Tony and Priya agree that they can’t just leave Echo to deal with everything without their help, but they find the Dollhouse deserted (not counting the bodies on the floor). Adelle, Paul, and Mellie are on their way to Tucson and trying to avoid detection by Rossum. Boyd, Topher, and crazy Echo join them. Seems Boyd has taken measures to stop her outing him. They sedate her. Tony and Priya find a hint at the chair, and Tony volunteers to take whatever imprint it is. It’s Topher! Clyde 2.0 is now in Whisky’s body. Topher!Victor helps by pointing out his secret camera and replaying the footage of Boyd screwing with Caroline. The rest get to Rossum. Boyd and Topher find a lab where theyr’e making the imprint thing Topher designed, to be a weapon. None of them work yet, though. Boyd convinces Topher to get one working. Paul and Mellie look for the mainframe to destroy it. Topher finishes repairing the wipe thing, and Boyd tips his hand enough to creep Topher out. Before Boyd can kill or wipe Topher, Echo comes bursting in to beat the crap out of him. Clyde 2.0 makes her stop by pointing a gun at her, allowing Boyd to deliver a full crazy speech about how they’re his family and Echo’s spinal fluid can save them (but only them) from the end of the world. Paul and Mellie take out the AC on the server so it’ll overheat. Boyd tries to make Adelle activate Mellie’s sleeper protocols. She refuses, even on threat of death, but Boyd finds the recording of it. Whoops. Attack Mellie tries to kill Paul. Then she fights through the programming just long enough to kill herself instead. Uggggggh. Boyd gets everything set up for extracting Echo’s spinal fluid. Enter Tony and Priya to save the day! They rescue Echo. In the lab, Topher is going mad with guilt for inventing the thing that will end civilization. Tony and Priya to the rescue again! Topher hopes to essentially uninvent the wiping tech. Echo tries to get something out of Whisky, but Clyde isn’t going to go down easy. Also, he doesn’t care about Whisky’s body. Paul confronts Boyd. Dangit, he still doesn’t know Boyd is the villain. Or...does he? Echo knocks Clyde out. Then Boyd and Paul show up, and yeah, Paul did not figure out Boyd is evil. Echo and Boyd fight, despite Boyd’s belief she can’t hurt him. Then Topher comes in and wipes Boyd. They leave him there in the building to blow it up once they’re gone. So...world saved? Cut to the crapsack future. That’s a big no.
At this point, all character development has largely folded under the weight of the advancing plot. Tony, Priya, and Topher are really the only ones who get further development. And since we already know things will be apocalyptic in ten years, all their efforts to stop Rossum feel very futile. I actually have a theory now about Evil Boyd, which would make me feel much better about the retcon of him suddenly being the head of Rossum when that was never foreshadowed. The head of Rossum is clearly an evil genius, and there’s no reason someone like that would feel the need to personally oversee Echo’s development. I think whoever it is grabbed Boyd at some point (maybe before he joined the Dollhouse) and imprinted him to be the ideal handler/father figure for her, and altered the memories on the Caroline wedge to make Boyd a decoy if she ever got re-imprinted. Which explains why the world still ends after they destroy Rossum’s mainframe and tech: the real head of the snake is still unknown and alive! Boom.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Ah, so this is what got Tony started with that mindset of using the imprint technology to upgrade his own skills. I can also see how that would eventually drive a wedge between him and Priya, since she was reluctant to even do that the first time.
I’m kind of confused by Topher’s line of thinking. He should know better than to assume all of Rossum’s potentially world-ending info is in that building. I really want to know what happened between this episode and the apocalypse. Were the surviving main characters just anxiously hanging out, hoping everything was fine, or were they trying to hunt down any scrap of material Rossum and its affiliates still had?
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.