Saturday, October 10, 2009

2.03 Belle Chose

Summary and spoilers

A psychopath with a Crispin Glover hairstyle is playing with live dolls – women with fashion model looks that he has drugged heavily, then posed and dressed as living statues. When one tries to escape, he clubs – or croquets, more accurately - her to death. While looking for a quick replacement, he is hit by a vehicle. His name is Terry Carrens – and why does he end up being treated by Topher in the Dollhouse? It’s because his uncle Bradley is a valued client and a major Dollhouse shareholder. It turns out also that Bradley and the Carrens family knew – and covered up – many of his nephew’s indiscretions. DeWitt agrees to allow the comatose Terry to be questioned safely. This is done by dumping Terry’s mind into Victor and then assigning Ballard to do the FBI-style profiling. Ballard exposes Terry as a abductor, torturer, and killer, but soon after, the plan backfires when Bradley grabs Victor and escapes. As they drive away, Bradley thinks he can have a little chat with his nephew to find out the still-secret location of the surviving women, but Victor unceremoniously snaps Bradley’s head against the steering wheel and crashes the car.

Meanwhile, Echo has an ‘R’ (Romance) assignment as an amorous student of a college professor. As ditzy Kiki, she is outfitted as a sex kitten and sent in to play out a porn movie type fantasy: sexy girl gets an ‘F’ and wants to know what she can do to improve that grade.

With Victor now imprinted as a serial killer and poised to take in another abductee, DeWitt tasks Topher with finding a way to do a remote mind wipe. The attempted wipe knocks out the Actives monitoring system and transfers Terry’s diseased mind from Victor to Echo – turning her into the killer.  Echo quickly incapacitates the professor with a quick letter-opener to the neck. She returns to her captives and lashes out at them, but is able to stop herself just short of killing them by using her growing ability to become aware of her implant.

Victor receives Kiki and goes on a flamboyant dancing spree. Ballard, who was glad earlier to dump Kiki with Langton, is once again united with her when he retrieves Victor.

A full mind-wipe later, Echo appears back to normal in the Dollhouse, but the episode ends with her viewing the still comatose body of the real Terry Carrens as she exclaims, "Goodness gracious!" – a lingering Terry-ism.


Fox said there would be changes for season two. One of these possibly Fox-driven changes is to focus more on the relationship/love between two characters, rather than having a true Joss-style ensemble show. I just realized that this seems to be the case, and the two characters are, of course, Ballard and Echo. Although their relationship is now the anchor, the other roles are still important and substantial.

Enver Gjokaj (Victor) is brilliant as psychopath Terry Carrens.

The tension in this episode slowly builds. Victor is looking for another woman to abduct, and Echo is seducing the professor. The two separate stories seem strikingly unlinked, unless…Victor abducts Echo! Okay, it didn’t exactly happen like that…

Dollhouse Quotes

Ballard: Would you like a towel?
Echo: [naked after a shower] Yes, thank you. I’m wet.

DeWitt: Any progress on locating our troubled missing employee?
Langton: She’s not really missing, is she? She left.
DeWitt: Well, I call that missing.
Langton: I call that leaving.

Kiki: Don’t you just feel like dancin’?
Ballard: Not overly.

DeWitt: You’re quite certain of this [that Carrens is a serial killer]
Topher: Certain enough that I have serious ethical problems trying to wake him up.
Langton: Topher has ethical problems. Topher!
Topher: [laughs] Way to land it.

Kiki: Okay, so, I probably never should have taken this course to begin with, I figured it was Medieval Lit, not Advanced Evil – how hard could it be. So I skipped Intro to Evil, or whatever, but, how is it that I got an ‘F’ when this guy that we’re reading – Chauncey - can’t even spell?
Professor: It’s Chaucer. It’s Middle English.
Kiki: Right, like, Hobbits or something.
Professor: Yeah, as I said, my office is open if you’d…care to discuss it.
Kiki: Yeah, I’d care to discuss it. I’m like the Scarlet Lady with the ‘F’ on her chest.
Professor: ‘A’.
Kiki: If only!

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