Monday, 19 March 2012

Dollhouse: Gray Hour

Episode 1.04

Echo has been tasked with retrieving the Parthenon from a high-security vault with two other thieves and an artifacts expert on hand. The 'gray hour' is the time when the security systems will be down and they'll be safe to find the piece and leave. Only, of course, the job is complicated when the artifacts expert finds the piece and runs away, locking the three other inside. Echo has just updated Boyd on the situation when the line is hacked and Echo is remotely wiped - something that even Topher can't manage.

I think this episode is really cute. I have this thing about thieves: I love The Mummy, Entrapment, Ocean's 11 etc and in books, Sweet Revenge, Honest Illusions, Three Fates and Hot Ice by Nora Roberts and Heist Society by Ally Carter. So watching Echo strut her stuff as Taffy and inform the team they didn't need to synchronise their watches because they were on "Standard Taffy Time" was pretty awesome.

Echo, helpless as a baby, was adorable. I don't think that 'adorable' is really the right word for the situation, but I like it. She stands in stark contrast to Taffy and I think this episode is really good in showing how helpless dolls really are when they're in their 'doll-state' without the Dollhouse to cushion the blow for them. The dolls seem pretty robotic and dim when they converse in the Dollhouse, but Echo, once she got over her initial shocky 'childbirth' phase seemed almost lucid when she was having her conversation with Walton (one of the thieves, Toby Leonard Moore) about the artwork around them. Echo remarks that the girl in a Picasso portrait looks 'broken' because of the way that Picasso depicted facial features in his paintings, something that could easily be applied to dolls who are 'broken' with their personalities stripped of them. Echo then assertively tells Boyd when she manages to escape "I'm not broken." No, she's not; very slowly, we see Echo managing to piece herself back together.

On a more minor point, Ballard returns from the hospital to find Victor (or Anton Lubov as Paul knows him to be) in his home, begging to be placed in witness protection. Ballard goes away and when he comes back, Victor is on the FBI wanted list; Paul's persistency is not so good news for the Dollhouse.

I don't really consider this a spoiler now as all the episodes have led up to this, so I'm just going to say it: Alpha isn't dead. He's the one that managed the remote wipe, which I said before, even Topher couldn't manage. Very interesting. DeWitt had lied when she'd said that they'd managed to track Alpha down and kill him and we end with a cliff-hanger with Adelle just about to spill all about what she knows about Alpha in exchange for Topher telling her how they can put a stop to him. Intriguing indeed.

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