Wednesday, May 13, 2009

1.12 Omega

Summary and spoilers

Alpha and Echo have escaped from the Dollhouse. Echo should have been traceable, but Alpha removed her ‘tag’, so she’s gone. Topher is unable to read what personality Alpha imprinted on Echo, either, but DeWitt urges him to correct that.

Out on the road, Alpha has named himself ‘Bobby’ and is sounding like a southern punk. His custom Echo is a dedicated girlfriend who worships him, partially because she believes he has twice rescued her from institutions. But Alpha isn’t completely satisfied with this game; he purposely begins to tell her the truth amid the lies – that he isn’t Bobby, and that he didn’t know and rescue her when she was 13.

Alpha and Echo are on a crime/exposition of Dollhouse spree that has started with stealing some clothes and taking the gagged shop clerk hostage. In their second act, Echo dances in bright light while music plays and Alpha abuses a Dollhouse minder named Lars. But this is not now – this is in the past, the first time Alpha went crazy. And the dancing girl that emerges from bright light is not Alpha – it is the one we know as Dr. Saunders. Alpha calls her Crystal, but when Dollhouse operatives burst in, they call her Whiskey. Later in the show, Dr. Saunders will hack into Topher’s computer and discover her true identity as well.

When Ballard finds out that Alpha has Echo/Caroline, he is drawn toward helping DeWitt find her, despite his disdain of all that the Dollhouse stands for.

In flashback, we see a time when Alpha was a controllable active who was just starting to become aware of the world he was in. He also became aware – and fell in love with – Caroline/Echo. He shows his love by hacking away at Whiskey’s popular, top-ranking Doll face.

In the present, Alpha implants the shop clerk with Caroline’s original personality, setting up a strange confrontation between Caroline in the wrong body looking at a stranger in her right body. Part two of his evil plan is to program Echo to kill Caroline, whom Alpha considers the only person who is a threat. To do so, he does to Echo what was done to him; he implants her with all of the personalities that she has owned in her Dollhouse career. The result is not what Alpha expected; Omega attacks him, knocking him down with one blow from a pipe. In the ensuing battle of pipes and words, Alpha kills the woman who he implanted with Caroline; he then disappears. Langton and Ballard arrive just in time for Ballard to salvage Caroline’s personality 'wedge'.

Ballard has been contracted to hunt down Alpha. In exchange, he has arranged for the freedom of a ‘young lady’. I assumed this was Caroline; in a final twist, it is Mellie whom he has freed.


This is an excellent episode, surely because it was written and directed by longtime Whedon collaborator Tim Minnear. When it came time to glean the best Dollhouse quotes section, I could almost have included the entire script!

Yes, Dr. Saunders is an active! So many viewers suspected this, and so many others got spoiled, then claimed to have suspected this :). And she is one extraordinarily sexy extrovert as Crystal. More flashbacks of her, please!

When Alpha says "Alpha, meet Omega" and flips the switch, he grins and stiffly tilts his head upward in what appears to be a homage to crazed scientists everywhere in general, and the film Bride of Frankenstein in particular.

At times, Alpha sounds a little like Topher (in his phrasing, and in the way his lines are written).

This is the final season one episode of Dollhouse that will air. There is one more episode (called Epitaph One) that will be included on the season one DVD.

As I’ve said before, those who managed to stick with this show while it established itself have now been blessed with an intense, painstakingly structured story. Each week is an improvement in character development, with Eliza Dushku giving a powerful performance in this episode. There is so much more that could be told; so pre-order the DVD from Amazon and tell FOX that they would be making a huge mistake to cancel it.

Memorable Moments

  • Extra awkwardness as Ballard stands next to November/Mellie in the imprint room

Dollhouse Quotes

Dr. Saunders: He asked me if I always wanted to be a doctor.
Topher: Ha! Well…who can fathom the mind of a crazy person?
Dr. Saunders: The one who made him crazy, maybe.

"Lars, it’s sad, it’s sad how you lie – I can smell it!"
- Alpha

Victor: How can I be my best, please?
Dr. Saunders: You can’t, Victor! You can’t be your best. Your best is past – your past you can’t even remember. You’re ugly now. You’re disgusting. All you can look for now is pity. And for that, you’re gonna have to look somewhere else.

"Why is there a tall, morally judgmental man in my imprint room [gestures at Langton] besides him?"
- Topher

"Look, you can’t profile Alpha. He’s not a person, he’s – he’s like Soylent Green: he’s people."
- Topher to Ballard

Alpha: What do you feel?
Caroline: I’m confused.
Echo: I’m with her.
Alpha: You ARE her!

"New life…from death. The ancients had it right. The old gods are back. Alpha, meet Omega."
- Alpha

DeWitt: Carl William Kraft.
Ballard: Three names – always ominous.

"We’re not just humans anymore. We’re not multiple personalities; we’re many personalities. One of my personalities happens to be a multiple personality, but that doesn’t make me a multiple personality – I’m looking for a little nuance here."
- Alpha to Echo

"We’re not new. We’re not anything. We’re not anybody because we’re everybody!"
- Echo to Alpha

"I have 38 brains. Not one of them thinks you can sign a contract to be a slave – especially now that we have a black president."
- Echo to Caroline

Alpha: Lay back in the chair.
Echo: You lay back in the chair. I’m done laying back in the chair. I’m ready to rinse and spit.

No comments:

Post a Comment