Thursday, October 1, 2009

2.01 Vows

Summary and spoilers

Echo is back in the chair to have her 39 personalities wiped, and to be sent out as a bride in someone’s fantasy wedding. Ballard has reason to be worried. Echo’s assignment is no ordinary ‘safe’ fantasy – the man she is to wed is Martin Klar, a leading arms dealer, and her mission is to become his confidante and bring him down. Topher also is worried, but for different reasons: he is being harassed by Dr. Saunders. Saunders is still angry at the discovery that she is an active; she is virusing Topher’s computer with clips from Bride of Frankenstein, and stocking his cupboard with phobia-inducing white rats.

Langton, as the head of security, watches as DeWitt’s touch lingers too long on Victor’s scarred and healing face.

DeWitt tries her best to convince Ballard to become Echo’s handler. I suppose this is another way of ensuring that Ballard takes more ownership of the Dollhouse and stops trying to bring it down. But the job of Echo Handler may not be around too long. As associate of Klar is looking at photos of Echo and Ballard – her mission has been compromised.

Despite being trapped, Echo uses her guile to convince Klar that she is innocent. But her own mind betrays her; she forgets the names and situations of her current mission. Ballard purposely gets captured so he can reach Echo and whack her around enough to make her go medieval on Klar and his men. This ridiculous plan somehow works.

Ballard does not tell DeWitt about Echo’s multiple personality issues, knowing that this could send her to the attic. Instead, he vows to help Echo find Caroline, and he accepts the role as her handler.

Langton discovers a goodbye note from Saunders. She has triumphed over her programmed fear of everything outside her office and has left the Dollhouse.


Echo’s sentience continues to grow. She recognizes Dr. Saunders as Whiskey and remembers that Whiskey was ‘number one’. Saunders adds to this active memory by briefing her on the Alpha origin of her scars.

Saunders and Topher eventually resolve their conflict, to a degree. Topher created Saunders from the personality of the real Dr. Saunders, then added checks and balances to ensure that she would not be attracted to him. Saunders cannot live with the thought of being fabricated, and yet is not willing to give up her rented body and die.

We were told that Dollhouse season two would have some changes. I think the exploding vehicle and what I suspect may be an obligatory fight sequence each week may be a sign that every show is going to have more requisite action and fireballs. Fox may have insisted that Dollhouse adopt the Lost ‘one explosion per episode’ credo.

Memorable Moments

  • Ballard’s pushups coordinated with Echo’s wedding night boogie

Dollhouse Quotes

"My entire existence was constructed by a sociopath in a sweater vest."
- Dr. Saunders

Topher: What the hell! Are you drunk?
Saunders: Just…trying to be my best.
Topher: Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, I don’t want your best.
Saunders: [looks down] I think you do.
Topher: Okay, that is – the – minority vote.

Topher: You’re human!
Saunders: Don’t flatter yourself.

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