This week, on Dollhouse …
RECAP DETAILS AHEAD (don’t read if you haven’t watched it yet) …
“The tide is rising.” In other words, the memory-enhancing drug that some of the Actives were exposed to last week has made them more fidgety than ever, and Dewitt and Dominic are worried that if they don’t do something to control this, the Dollhouse could have another Alpha on its hands. So Topher fiddles with the oxygen/chemical cocktail in one of the sleeping areas — in particular, the one that Echo, Sierra, Victor, November (Mellie), and Blond Dude sleep in. The result, which at first seems unexpected but then turns out to be completely planned, is that these Actives wake up out of their doll state with full awareness, although not much in the way of memories, and attempt to escape.
The Blond Dude gets caught and reprogrammed quickly, in a scene that is — quite appropriately — very reminiscent of scenes from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But the other four, through deception and guile, manage to make it to the garage by way of the wardrobe room. By this time, they’ve caught on to the true nature of the Dollhouse, and Echo — ever the girl scout — runs back in to rescue all the other Actives. The remaining three escapees drive away, but then November remembers something, and demands to be let out of the car when they pass a cemetery, leaving Victor and Sierra alone to confront the man that Sierra remembers is responsible for her being a doll.
Long story short, it’s all a calculated ruse cooked up by Dr. Saunders. She theorizes that the problem with these particular Actives is that they’re all suffering from an open loop — the subconscious urge to escape, in order to satisfy a task that, if left unfinished, will just continue to fester inside of them, increasing the odds of rebellion. For Echo, this task is freeing all the dolls, which she does. For November, it’s mourning the death of her daughter, which she does. For Sierra, it’s confronting the man responsible for taking away her freedom, which she does. For Victor, it’s saving the girl he loves, which he does.
And when each of these tasks is completed, when each Active feels a sense of completion and closure, the programming that Topher has put in their heads shuts them down. They and the freed Actives are all returned to their zombie lives in the Dollhouse. The tide has risen, and the tide has gone back down again. No doubt it will rise again, but for now, a crisis has been averted.
I really, really wanted to see Topher get zapped in the chair.
Also, my god, Sierra really gets the shit end of the stick doesn’t she? She wasn’t arrested or anything like Echo, just said no to sex with some rich dick. Poof, her life is gone. Poor girl, I wouldn’t be surprised if she turned into the next Alpha.
I know, right?! (To both points.)