Wednesday, 20 March 2013
“You and I have been doing this dance for almost two years.”
At last, we get the backstory for Echo/Caroline. This episode begins intriguingly, in flashback, with Caroline, in conversation with DeWitt, about to sign away five years of her life, seemingly of her own free will. This sharply parallels the final scene in which DeWitt makes an identical offer to Sam. The actives, it seems, are indeed volunteers. But it seems that there is usually a catch.
We have only seen Caroline, thus far, in brief snatches. Here, we get to see her personality as a loud, extroverted force of nature with a powerful social conscience and a deep-lying idealism. She is as resourceful as Echo, but much more impulsive, and this is her downfall. It is strongly implied that her covert activities against the dastardly Rossum Corporation leads to the death of her boyfriend, Leo, and that this is the unbearable memory which she seeks to erase.
Obviously, there is an “A” plot, involving the release of a nasty drug within a university, and much fun is had once it spreads to the senior staff of the Dollhouse. The highlight of the episode is a stoned conversation between DeWitt and Topher during which they get the munchies. You would expect this of Topher, but to see DeWitt like this is both hilarious and a testament to the superb acting skills of Olivia Williams.
The Ballard sub-plot thickens as he gets more and more attached to Mellie, with the dramatic irony thickening all the time. We know it’s a trap. Ballard may be a gentleman of Leisure (or Leesure, as he said!), but he hasn’t given up, whatever DeWitt may seemingly expect.
This episode maintains the high quality and addictiveness of the previous one. Right now, Dollhouse is a class A drug.