Saturday, 23 March 2013

Dollhouse: Needs

“Don’t think of them as children. Think of them as pets.”

We begin with a revealing dream sequence; Ballard obviously rather likes Caroline/Echo in a sexual way and seems to have subconscious fantasies about protecting her, which is a little ironic. Out of the two of them, he seems to be the one who needs protecting.

This is a rather clever plot. After last episode, in which DeWitt and her staff were all druggie and vulnerable, this time she takes control and seemingly solves the problem of unrest in the minds of certain actives by allowing them to be themselves and to enjoy the illusion of freedom for a short while. The actives concerned- Echo, Sierra, Victor, November and Mike (we may never see him again) wake up with no personal memories but are entirely their own personalities. This episode is about control and how easily it can be illusory. The actives are not truly in control. Then again, it is questionable how much control the Dollhouse has over the actives. This episode’s actions seem unlikely to solve the “problems” experienced by the actives.

Most interesting, of course, is the further light shed on the “voluntary” contracts of the actives. Caroline, acting, rather interestingly, far more in keeping with the personality as shown in the flashbacks of her pre-Dollhouse life than with her life as Echo, seemingly finds herself in a position to demand the freedom of herself and the others. Adelle’s response is fascinating. She refuses to tell Caroline why she volunteered in order to keep a promise she made to Caroline herself. We more or less know what it is that Caroline cannot bear to remember, and we see that November is in mourning for her daughter, a similar situation. More disturbing are the implications that Sierra is only an active because she refused sex to a rich bastard. This is people trafficking.

Interestingly, Caroline manages to leave a message for Ballard. The Ballard plot-arc will run and run. Dollhouse is getting better and better with every episode.

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