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'Dollhouse': Sierra's tragic fight in 'Belonging'

October 23, 2009 | 10:51 pm

DH_belonging-art In "Belonging," we're finally able to see what circumstances brought Sierra, one of our favorite dolls, to the dollhouse. It's a pretty tragic circumstance, and Dichen Lachman has a winning performance as a pre-Sierra Priya.

We find Priya, a free-spirited artist type, hanging out on the beach, selling knickknacks, when she's approached by a rich stranger with a generous offer.  If that's not a huge red light, red flag or stoplight, I don't know what is. What followed was very calculated, very evil and just plain mean.

Nolan Kinnard, played menacingly by Vincent Ventresca, tried to court Priya with everything, including a gallery showing of her works. Though Priya has a good head on her shoulders, she may have eventually followed Echo's advice to go ahead and use Kinnard to get what she wanted, but fate intervened. Victor, another doll invited to attend the gallery opening, saunters in to create that initial spark that we now know as true love.

It was here that I question what happened. Did someone at the dollhouse send Victor, who obviously was going after Priya whether it was all-consuming love or an assignment, to mess up Kinnard's plans? He was pulled away to a treatment pretty quickly, but the damage was done. Priya said no to Kinnard, then lost her mind because of medicines given to her covertly. Kinnard, a favorite of the Rossum Corporation, made her lose her mind, get committed to a mental health facility, then turned into a doll by Topher.

Making her visit him over and over again was Kinnard's revenge for her spurning his advances. That's just plain nefarious -- a mangling of morality that even made Topher and even Adelle DeWitt twitch. The company forced them to give Sierra up to this guy, but Topher turned it around.

Sierra was sent to Kinnard not as a loving girlfriend or wife, but instead as Priya. After a confrontation, Priya killed him with a "struggle and stab." Stabbed him four times, actually. Just making sure. Morally DH_belonging-400 ambiguous moment No. 2: Topher gets a call and comes to the rescue, and Boyd Langton drops by with party favors: sharp tools and sulfuric acid for Kinnard. That was a wow moment. Of course, Kinnard is, according to DeWitt, a "raping scumbag one tick shy of a murderer," but Boyd's willingness to make the problem "go away" was jarring given his questioning of morality around the dollhouse.

The final straw? Priya did not want to live with the knowledge that she had killed a man, and wanted to experience life and love with Victor, but she couldn't do that as Priya. So, decisively and voluntarily, she chose to remain Sierra. Thanks for not depriving us of Sierra, but it was a messed-up choice to have to make. Did she actually win? Answer in the comments below.

The episode was great, to say the least. Despite her reluctance to play herself on-screen, Lachman broke out here. The episode also added even more to the lore of the romance between Victor and Sierra. Kind of like this weekend's "Saw VI," the moral choices made in the show continue to drive it. OK, not so much like "Saw," but you get it.

This incident will also definitely have implications for Topher in the future: a momentary slip of goodness makes you wonder what else he's capable of doing when push comes to shove. And Echo's security pass (looked like) seems like it's from Boyd since only she and he were in that conversation. But with surveillance everywhere, who knows who else might've listened in on the conversation. Is Boyd our mole? We'll see.

Next week, we'll talk to Alexis Denisof, and we'll get to learn more about Sen. Daniel Perrin and his connection to the dollhouse.  And Summer Glau!!!!!

-- Jevon Phillips

Photos: Sierra (Dichen Lachman), top, laughs with Victor (Enver Gjokaj) in the "Dollhouse" episode "Belonging."  Below, Nolan Kinnard (Vincent Ventresca) grabs Sierra.  Credit: Fox.

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- Dichen Lachman brings Sierra to life in 'Dollhouse'
- 'Dollhouse': Victor the serial killer, and the actor who plays him
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