“Epitaph Two: Return”
Written by Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon, and Andrew Chambliss
Directed by David Solomon
Little Caroline, Felicia Day, and Scutt Farkis from A Christmas Story are still on the run from the butchers, trying to make it to Safe Haven. They get jumped when they pull into a warehouse to try restocking or something, then dragged to somewhere called Neuropolis, formerly Tucson. Various Rossum execs are stealing bodies for themselves. They use them up, then switch to another one. Mr. Harding is examining his next crop of options. Paul Ballard is among them. Whoops! He definitely isn’t a dumbshow. Echo is with him. They shoot their way out and rescue little Caroline, Felicia Day, and Scutt Farkis. But they’re here to rescue Topher, who was Rossum’s captive. He’s insane because they shot one person every day he didn’t solve the problem. Holy crap. They wanted him to wipe the whole world. But he’s been secretly working on the opposite: a way to revert everyone to their original selves all at once. They bring Topher and the rest to Safe Haven, where Priya and Adelle spend most of their time growing food and raising Priya and Tony’s son T. The wipe to fix the world will work, but it’ll also cost anyone who’s ever been a doll all their memories back to their first imprint. So Echo, Priya, Paul, and anyone else with Active architecture will have to go deep underground for at least the next year. Priya in particular, because she’ll forget her son if she doesn’t. Zone (Scutt Farkis) doesn’t want to go. Then a giant truck straight out of Mad Max shows up. It’s Tony! And a bunch of post-apocalyptic soldiers, all former dolls. They’ve got tats and little imprint gadgets to switch out their skillsets for ones that are useful in the moment. Everyone heads for the city in the doom truck. Priya isn’t happy with Tony for staying in the fight, but he feels it was necessary to protect her and their son. Paul tries to convince Echo to let them be a couple. Apparently she’s been keeping him at emotional arm’s length all these years. The city is crawling with Butchers. Mag’s legs get shot up, and Paul takes a bullet to the head, but Zone grabs Mag and the survivors all make it to the Dollhouse okay. The Dollhouse is now full of dumbshows, and Alpha! Who Echo greets with a big hug! The tech heads aren’t interested in letting Topher fix the world. Tony tries to talk them down. Echo and Alpha take them down instead. They’re going to let the hostile tech heads be outside when Topher’s cure sweeps out. Echo loses it at Priya for being so angry at the tech; she’s actually freaking out at losing Paul after never letting him in. Topher goes up to Adelle’s office to fire off the cure tech, and Adelle and Zone lead all the dumbshows outside. Everyone gets their old selves back, and Alpha leaves the Paul imprint for Echo. She, Tony, Priya, T, Mag, and Kilo will be staying down there for the next year, until the signal ends.
I like this episode much more than “The Hollow Men.” As much as I would have liked to see how they got from point A to point B, point B is pretty fun. I love everything with Tony, Priya, and little T (especially that they all survived and got to stay together). Don’t particularly care about the stuff with Echo and Paul. Love every second of Alpha being a good guy, and Adelle and Topher are exceptionally poignant. If the show had to end early, this was a good end for it to have.
Things I Liked
Things I Didn’t
Go Tony! His struggle has always been about coming home from war and actually putting the war behind him. Not being able to do that was what landed him in the Dollhouse in the first place, and then it was what got him caught in the MindWhisper program. Now that he has Priya and little T, though, he has something worth both taking up arms and putting them down. His character development was kinda sneaky, with the focus on Echo most of the time, but it was there, and it was excellent.
Echo’s characterization is rather strange. Why on earth wouldn’t she want to be with Paul if she loved him and he developed his feelings for her all over again? That doesn’t make any sense. Still, even though I would kind of have preferred her to be with Alpha after Paul died, because Alpha has a copy of Paul in him, it does speak much better of Alpha’s own character development that he offered her a happy ending that didn’t include him. I still ship them.
The Watcher's Diary
In this blog, I'll be reviewing, analyzing, and generally fangirling over excellent television. Exhibit A: the Whedonverse.