Sunday, May 3, 2009

1.11 Briar Rose

Summary and spoilers

The show opens with what looks to be a homeless man digging through a dumpster and finding a human arm. When he inspects more closely, the arm reaches out and grabs him.

Echo’s assignment, devised by Topher, places her in a home for troubled children. She is there to help a particularly troubled and victimized young teen girl whom Topher has identified as being a version of Caroline as a teen. And Topher is right, too; Echo is able to speak to the girl and get closer to her than anyone else has.

Ballard’s on the move. He breaks up with Mellie, hoping that he doesn’t alert her Dollhouse personality that he’s onto her. After the Dollhouse stayed hidden for a long time (years?), Ballard finds the entrance - it looks like an underground parking garage - simply by following the van that picks up the emotionally distraught Mellie. To help him get in, Ballard visits Loomis and identifies the man who helped design the Dollhouse - one Steven Kepler, an environmental specialist. Ballard visits Kepler at his cannabis-plant-filled apartment. Despite the fact that Kepler is paranoid and mad, for the most part he appears harmless. At gunpoint, Ballard takes Kepler away to as his new partner in getting inside the Dollhouse. Although Kepler is annoying, he has the knowledge. They not only get inside, but Ballard gets to taser Topher (hmm, taser Topher - that has a nice sing-songy feel to it). Kepler shuts down the security systems from Saunders’ workstation, while Ballard opens Echo’s pod and tries to convince her to come with him. But Langton gets there at the same time. Showing some sympathy, Langton offers Ballard a chance to just leave, no questions asked, but Ballard decides to fight instead. They bash each other around for quite some time, until Echo aligns with Langton (whom she still trusts).

Sierra, on assignment as a forensics expert, has been sent to examine the body of the dumpster man, who was killed by that dumpster arm. While Langton and Dewitt are talking to Ballard, Sierra calls in to say that the dead man was one Steven Kepler, and he was killed by Alpha. Too late we know that it was Alpha who accompanied Ballard into the Dollhouse, and is now slashing Victor’s face and threatening to slash Saunders up again. Instead, Alpha puts Echo in the chair; when she emerges, she and Alpha kiss passionately. She calls him her prince, and together, they commence their escape.


This episode parallels the fairy tale of Briar Rose, the young woman who pricked her finger on a spindle, sending her into a spell-induced sleep, until she was rescued by a prince.

It’s difficult to comprehend all the events that occur in this episode’s running time of just over 48 minutes.

It was great to See Alan Tudyk (Firefly) get a meaty role as Alpha. I would have enjoyed his appearance so much more had I not been spoiled with the info on who he would be playing.

Memorable Moments

  • Ballard standing in the Dollhouse

Quotable Quotes

“I was in the building you can see; I’ve got to get in the other one, the one…that’s invisible.”
- Ballard to Loomis

Topher [after seeing Dominic in Victor’s body]: Oh, god, that was -
Dewitt: Necessary.

Steven: You know, I’m not comfortable having people in my home that aren’t delivering me Thai food…and I’m not talking about past clients.
Ballard: Tell me about the Dollhouse.

Steven: Alright, would you look at this place! I mean, first of all, Feng Shui up the ying yang - also, I designed parts of it, but I did not design the  stone-cold foxes in the small clothes…and the ample massage facilities. I mean, don’t get me wrong - I heart my porn, but this is cool!
Ballard: This is a bad place.
Steven: Bad people maybe - good place.

Ballard: Oh god…I know that guy - Lubov! My whole life - my whole life isn’t real.
Steven: It’s a small world, right - I went to grade school with Jenna Elfman.

“Sorry, Agent Ballard - you don’t get the girl.”
- Langton

Saunders: Victor, what happened?
Victor: People were fighting on me.

“I don’t even care that these people sign themselves over to you; there is no provision for - for consentual slavery!”
- Ballard

Alpha: I told you I’d come rescue you.
Echo: My prince!

No comments:

Post a Comment