PLAY BY PLAY:
Miss DeWitt is away, being called on the carpet by her mysterious bosses at Dollhouse World Headquarters, and leaving Mr. Dominic in charge of Dollhouse LA. Repairing his equipment from last week’s bullets, Topher discovers a chip in it that gives someone else control over the chair. He (eventually) tells Mr. Dominic, who orders a complete lockdown, and then has Sierra reprogrammed as a CIA goon and has her break in to the National Security Agency, since it’s apparently NSA tech used to hack the chair. While she’s off on mission, Echo tells Topher to reprogram her to help, which he does. She becomes an investigator and questions all the suspicious workers in the dollhouse, and we find out some expositional stuff about a lot of our supporting characters.
Meanwhile, Victor was sent off to nail an old lady immediately before the lockdown, but doesn’t. Instead he gets in a stylish roadster and goes to Mrs. DeWitt’s house, and nails her. The lady is hooked on her own stuff!
Topher’s asian assistant girl is identified as the mole by the NSA documents Sierra stole, but Echo realizes that it’s a plant - Dominic is the mole! He had the NSA plant documents that would incriminate the girl, and then ordered Sierra to go in and steal ‘em. Clever.
After some Kung Fu Fightin’, Dominic is taken down, and taken to DeWitt’s home where she orders him to be sent to the attic (Which, much like the attic in “The Hunger,” is a place you really don’t want to be, for pretty much the same exact reason). She then goes in to her bedroom and breaks down crying in front of Victor.
Back at the dollhouse, after having been interrogated by Echo, Dominic is wiped in a pretty traumatic and awful scene, somehow gets a gun, and shoots DeWitt in the gut. DeWitt just shakes it off until the process is done. There’s some exposition and some denouement, but basically that’s it, excepting that she’s decided to give up on her off-the-book trysts with Victor.
In the Helo plot this week, Mellie goes to see Paul, who’s in full on “The Question” mode (I really do think it was a nod to The Question from Justice League Unlimited - his full-wall board of connections and clues and things is paranoid, rambly, and right out of that cartoon!), but Mellie calms him down and takes him in the bathroom for a little lovin’. When he puts the moves on her, she goes in to reprogrammed messenger mode, and tells him that she’s a doll, that their agent inside has been captured, but they’ll find another way to contact with him, and that he shouldn’t tell Mellie anything, but he should continue looking, then the messenger personality is gone and Mellie is back, and they make out awkwardly.
The story I outlined above was told in a fractured out-of-chronological-sequence style. There was no particular reason to do this, but it does make the episode more fun to watch. Good stylistic choice!
Sierra’s solo raid on the NSA was pretty awesome to watch, like a really good sequence from Alias before that show began to suck.
The Doctor’s plan from last week’s episode seems to have worked: None of the problematic Actives were glitchy at all this week, they were much more focused than usual.
I admit I didn’t see Dominic being the bad guy. A bad man, yes, but a villain? No. Totally surprised. I completely thought it was Topher’s assistant, up until the moment she incriminated herself, and then I realized it had to be someone else. Never figured it for Dom, though.
Lemme see if I’ve got this straight: The NSA had Dominic infiltrate the dollhouse not to shut it down, but simply to rein it in so it’s mind control technology wouldn’t destabilize the status quo? That seems plausible. And in the process they wanted to gain control of that tech for themselves. Also plausible. Ok. Passes reality check.
The actress who plays Echo continues to do nothing for me, even in her skimpy dominatrix gear. Conversely, Sierra is just smoking’ hot through this whole thing. This works on a performance level, too: while Echo was important in this episode, and her individual scenes - like asking Topher to fix her so she could help - were really pretty great, I just don’t like the actress and consistently think she’s the weakest thing on the show. I’m hoping that’ll get better. (maybe it has.