Sunday, 17 November 2013

Dollhouse: Stop-Loss

"I'm Anthony, by the way."

It's clear that we're entering the final phase. Victor is leaving the Dollhouse, yet he and Priya are clearly still in love. But that isn't all, by any means, and Adelle finishes the episode seeming more if a total bitch than ever.

Our first doubts about Adelle's ethics surfaced last season, when we realising she was, in essence, using Victor as an escort which, like all other instances of this with Actives, is pretty much ambiguously rape. Except that this time it doesn't happen: although Victor's supposed to be imprinted, he "dumps" Adelle, and we know it's because of Priya. Victor (now Anthony) may have reached the end of his contract, but the mere fact that something like this can happen is a problem for Rossum. Love, it seems, is resistant to corporate control. How dare we pinko lefties have the temerity to feel such an emotion?

Echo, who is suffering quite a bit of nastiness from De Witt, is at pains to ensure that Victor says goodbye to Sierra before he leaves. At least one person cares.

So that's it. Victor is now Anthony, and he's free of both his contract and the post-Afghanistan post combat stress disorder that put him in the Dollhouse in the first place. But he's clearly institutionalised, perhaps by the U.S. Military as much as by the Dollhouse, sleeping in the same pose that he used in his pod. Things can't go on like this, and it's not surprising to find that he's soon kidnapped. So much for freedom.

There's an interesting contrast with Echo here. Echo is not free, but she has a personality that is, if not quite Caroline, her. She is, in a sense, freer than Anthony: what little freedom she has has been negotiated on her own terms.

Anthony has been kidnapped by Rossum's military wing in an act if outright kidnapping, and he's to become a member of a hive mind. This is totally outrageous, and the most heinous thing we've seen Rossum so far; they have as little loyalty to their promises to free people at the end of their contracts as they do to freedom itself.

Boyd tells DeWitt who, interestingly, is rat-arsed- stress at work, perhaps? Priya is brought back with her own mind- and Topher does not, as he promised, delete her day of abuse by Nolan, so she can remember Victor- and teamed up with Echo on a rescue mission. This mission is successful, and it's nice, although admittedly something of a cliche, that there's still enough of Anthony inside his body to asset himself. Wonderfully, he starts to chat up Priya.

Echo heroically deals with the group mind and saves all the individual, while an increasingly sozzled DeWitt seems to be having a personal crisis. But just when it seems she might have an attack of crisis, she becomes more of a black hatted baddie than ever; not just Echo, but Priya and Anthony too, are going to the Attic...

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