Monday, March 1, 2010

2.09 Stop-Loss

Summary and spoilers

DeWitt is shocked to find that her rendezvous with Roger (Victor) is cut short when Roger sincerely believes that he is in love with another woman. DeWitt, who was just using Victor for one last fling before he is released from his contract, thinks she is the victim of a practical joke, and she confronts Topher. Little does she know that the dolls are starting to retain bits of their life, no matter what character they are currently playing.

Topher examines Ballard and finds, sadly, that Ballard’s head is completely empty and incapable of repair. Langton shoots off to bring the news to Echo.

Echo is upset at not being able to see Ballard. She’s also not thrilled that Victor is leaving – she was planning on using him to get everyone out. Langton promises to speak to DeWitt about the Ballard situation. DeWitt has no intention of letting Echo see Ballard – she blames Echo for Ballard’s condition through a roundabout of convoluted logic.

Victor sits in the chair one final time. When he wakes up, he remembers nothing of the past five years. He is given money, job opportunities, and a hotel room, and he’ll be back to the dollhouse bi-weekly for checkups. He walks right by Sierra and does not remember her. He’s a free man – but if so, why is he under observation as soon as he hits the streets?

Alone in his room: able to remember again his tour in Afghanistan, Victor feels that something is not quite right. He grabs a pillow and sleeps in the bathtub, for it reminds him of his dollhouse pod. Echo explains to Sierra why Victor is not coming back. Sierra says that Victor is not ready to be by himself.

When Echo finds that Ballard is no longer in the house, she confronts DeWitt. They are engaged in a power struggle for house control. DeWitt talks big, but she knows deep down that she is outclassed.

Victor is abducted by five ninja from Prank Patrol. Actually, they are not from Prank Patrol – they are ex-military who want Victor to join them – and Victor is willing to do so. They inject him with a mind link device. Now he is part of a hive mind, controlled by no other than the evil Rossum Corporation.

Topher has been monitoring his vital signs and lets Langton know that something bad has happened. Langton heads out, taking Echo to check the hotel room. Quickly they trace Rossum to the abduction. A program called Mindwhisper uses recent Dollhouse graduates to build an army.

Topher says if Victor is not rescued before he is fully absorbed, he will be lost forever. Langton and Echo spring into action, but Miss Lonelyhearts DeWitt just has a few more drinks and slurs a few more words. Echo loads up with an egg carton of useful personalities, from bomb dismantler to acrobat, and then grabs Sierra – as Pria – because she loved Victor as Pria before she became a doll. Echo and Pria head out together (Langton always get left back at base camp).

Echo and Pria purposely get captured to get inside, then Echo knocks off guards until Victor meets Pria. Initially, the hive mind dominates and he is going to kill her, but by sheer force of will, and with Pria’s presence, he is able to gain control.

DeWitt emerges from her drunken stupor to phone call from Harding, informing her that two of her operatives have infiltrated a Rossum training facility. After a quick slap in the face confrontation with Langton, she joins the actives on the dollhouse floor for a much needed cold shower.

Echo has figured out the best way to fully infiltrate the Rossum army: she implants herself with a mind link, and disables the army. Echo is about to release Victor and Pria when the mobile doll disabling device strikes, and all three are recaptured by DeWitt. Langton is detailed, and Echo is sent to the Attic, soon to be joined by Victor and Sierra.

Dollhouse Quotes

"I don’t believe for a second you’d ever stoop to the level of those pathetic souls who have to hire your programmable love dolls to get what they need."
- Roger/Victor to DeWitt

"Now you can be on my side, or you can be on Rossum’s, but the time for playing both is over."
- Echo to DeWitt

Langton: DeWitt’s out cold. We got at least half the day.
Topher: Ooh! After we’re done here, can I go to her office with a Sharpie?

"You really think we’ll be able to pull this off without Cruela DeWitt finding out?"
- Topher to Langton

Pria: Anthony! I’m so glad it’s you!
Victor: [holds Pria by her throat] Anthony’s gone.

"We may not have agreed in the past, but at least we put this house and the actives first. What happened to that woman?"
- Langton to DeWitt

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