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'Dollhouse': A traitor and mastermind revealed

Boyd

Viewers were probably a bit more on edge knowing that Boyd Langton was the puppet master and having to watch him guide the team around in this "The Hollow Men" episode.

I didn't even mention Victor and Sierra escaping last week, but for now, they've returned. We'll keep calling them by their doll names until I'm sure there's no shenanigans going on! And based on a note left in a destroyed lab, they decide to get back into the doll-making chair. They rationalized it, and may not fear it as much since they know they've been through it many times, but that pricked me a bit. The result though? Victor as Topher! Yes!!! When you find a good thing, use it. Now, with another quick tweak making Victor a super-soldier, they're in the game.

So Boyd, still pulling the strings, gets the crew down to a Tucson dollhouse after drugging Caroline/Echo, where they meet ... Whiskey/Dr. Saunders? Clyde Randolph, another of Rossum's architects, took the body of Whiskey. Wow, but great way to get Amy Acker back in. How did Adelle DeWitt know so easily? Guess she knew him pretty well.

Anyway, so fast-forward. Boyd splits the team and goes with Topher to "find Echo," sending November with Paul Ballard. Right away, started thinking about flowers and vases. His plan was going well until Echo woke up. She finds and smacks Boyd around for a while, but Whiskey shows up with a gun. Then Boyd's calculated craziness is revealed.

"You're here 'cause you're my family. I love you guys." What?! The show made what was thought of as the most stable character into the traitor and mastermind. Such carefully crafted misdirection, down to an emotional level. DeWitt said it best: "You are spectacularly insane."

Ballardnov More mean: Boyd is going to take Echo's spinal fluid to make an antidote that can fight against the doll imprint (that his company created?), and he activates assassin November, unleashing her on Ballard. The two battle, but November actually fights her programming! Seems she's the only doll to do that other than Echo, which kind of throws Boyd's "Echo's the only one who can fight it with her bodily fluids" theory out the window. But now, we'll never know because Paul is cleaning November brains off him after her suicide.

Echo's spinal tap. That. Looks. Painful. Ouch. But Victor and Sierra come to the rescue.

Echowhiskey And it happens. Echo versus Whiskey. Former No.1 versus present No. 1. Great fight. Have to find out the names of the stuntwomen involved. Not quite Buffy versus Faith, but still good. Echo wins.

"I did all of this. I'm the one who brings about the thoughtpocalypse." Not sure about that, Topher. The guy who invented steroids is not to blame for Mark McGwire.

Boyd's last trick was duping Paul Ballard, but Echo shot Paul in the leg to get him out of the way, so that's OK. As Boyd and Echo fight, we all wonder who will come in to stop him. Has to be Ballard. Maybe DeWitt. Nope, it's his betrayed buddy Topher. And not only does Topher not kill him, he makes him a doll, wiping his memory and personality. Echo and the group send him on a suicide mission. That was brilliant. No quick end to the manipulator.

In two weeks, we get to see the future finale in "Epitaph Two." Apparently, 10 years later and the future is still doomed. They had to think that a multinational corporation probably had other houses working on the tech, and though Topher is brilliant, someone would crack it. Have to wonder though: Did Boyd somehow live? (Whiskey could've woken up and gotten him out.) Even if he didn't, Clyde Randolph said he had lots of other bodies. In any number of scenarios, Rossum could live on. Question is, can they ever really be stopped? Would love to know what people think in the comments.

We knew the end was coming, though it seems like it got here fast. Viewing parties anyone?

-- Jevon Phillips

Photos: Top, Boyd Langton (Harry Lennix) is caught in the cross hairs. Middle, Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) and November (Miracle Laurie) share a moment. Bottom, Echo/Caroline (Eliza Dushku) and Whiskey (Amy Acker) tussle. Credit: Fox

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Comments () | Archives (8)

While I've really enjoyed Dollhouse, I have to say this is the second season finale in a row that went out with a whimper instead of a bang. "Omega" was fairly weak and illogical, and so was this one. But I did like seeing Boyd's personality switch, and his eventual conversion to a doll; the Echo/Whiskey fight; lots of gunplay, yada yada. (The Rossum corporation has a weapons cache, but surprisingly little security personnel. What's up with that?) What I didn't particularly care for was this "You are the savior of us all" nonsense. And I don't think anyone who had just gotten a multiple-needle spinal tap would be in shape to do any kind of martial arts [grin]. However, I'll give Boyd this credit: once the tech had been invented, it couldn't be un-invented. Destroying one Rossum building doesn't mean the end won't come eventually; hell, even Alpha came up with the same device just working out of his garage. As in most Whedon-plots, it's very existential: If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. I just wish the both seasons had ended with a more emotionally satisfying shutting of the plot lines. And the world could always use more Eliza Dushku...

i too was bothered by Victor's willingness to so quickly jump back in the chair, but oh well the show goes on....

i somewhat enjoyed this series but it never really gelled the way it was supposed to. its cancellation almost seems a mercy killing at this point. Dushku's glaring weakness in carrying the lead has never dimmed, just as apparent in last night's ep as ever. Shallow hollow ending. apt epi name. but i guess they had to wrap it up somehow. anyway, will be back in 2 weeks for the last edition. :)

Just wanted to say that there is no way Whiskey/Saunders/Clyde/Amy Acker was able to save Boyd. When they are evacuating the building you can hear Topher say "I got Dr. Saunders out." Which, by the way, I think Acker did a FANTASTIC job as Clyde. Everything, down to the way she walked, was as if she was a man.

And yeah, I thought that was kind of strange as well when November/Mellie was able to fight off her imprint long enough to kill herself.

FOX set this show up for failure by the Friday night timeslot. This is my favorite show on TV and I am sad to see it go. My only hope is that some other network picks it up like they did for Buffy. If not, I guess Dollhouse will just go into comic book form like Buffy, Angel, and Firefly.

Can't wait for the finale!

I think people who didn't see Epitaph One are missing out. A lot of things happened there that the writers had to stay true to. I suspect that a few things painted them in a corner since they didn't expect to get renewed for a second season, as much was said by a recent interview by Tim Minear, but I think they're doing an excellent job given their time constraint.

Topher and the others grabbed Whiskey and pulled her out of the building, so she didn't save Boyd. Boyd is dead and any attempt to show him alive would ruin the ending to the character. It was heartbreaking. It wasn't the best episode, but hey, at least it's not the finale. Omega wasn't suppose to be the finale last season but it turned into it. Epitaph One was a great way to end the season and Epitaph 2 will be a great way to end the series. Can't wait.

If all they wanted was Echo's spinal fluid, why didn't they take her and tap her when she was in DC? Why would Boyd need her to be Caroline, etc, to accomplish any of this? It made no sense.

i thought it was a good episode but not a great one, on similar terms as 'Omega' trying to push too much into one episode; the last 20 minutes seemed very rushed and almost stupid in some places -

the biggest part that bothered me was Echo's spinal fluid (they could have picked a better reason of why she's so special). they could have took it over 2 years ago when she first broke into rossum.

never been a fan of boyd till he became the villian always thought his character was a bit pointless - "the moral voice but i'll go work for the evil company every day."

although adelle was great with the one liners when talking, thought they could have made her do a bit more like actually fight or at least hit boyd or clive.

the parts that really worked
enver as topher - the man needs his own show
amy as clive - all the mannerisms of a man down, very believable
topher & adelle - who's to blame scene very touching

Lots of nice bits in this episode: Victor as Topher, anything with Amy Acker, and the Victor/Sierra love. But, as someone else said, the entire show is held captive of the "Epitah One" mis-conception; that was never "green lighted" by Fox. And, correctly, abandoned by Whedon & Co. as the major plot storyline BEFORE season one. So going back and trying to make all that was done in season one fit into the narrow, confusing plot of Epitah One would never work. And it's leading to a very unsatisfying ending of a series that could have been a lot better than the one we're watching die this slow death.


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