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October 7, 2015

Review: Dollhouse - The Hollow Men

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 16th 2010 2:30AM
Dollhouse(S02E12) The problem with prequels (and with regards to Dollhouse, I consider everything that happened before "Epitaph One" and "Epitaph Two" a prequel) is that you know how things are going to turn out. This somewhat ruins any sense of surprise one might get from any revelations of the program.

Granted, it was a decent stopping point for the show. All the dangling plot-lines were resolved and if we weren't aware of the two "Epitaph" episodes, we'd all drink our collective Slurpees and let out a sigh of relief knowing that Dollhouse ended on an emotionally satisfying note.

TWO WEEKS until the next episode? Come on, Fox. What's up with that?

The question we must ask is did the Boyd revelation happen earlier than it should have? The answer is likely "yes". It does make sense and there have been clues since the beginning of the show. I loved the reversal at the end where Boyd became an Active and Echo his handler. Also, whereas Boyd protected her, she ordered him to kill himself.

My guess is that either Topher escaped with the remote imprinting technology or (more likely) Rossum had back-up servers in Thailand or somewhere equally non-accessible. Boyd's motives were pretty super-villain standard: the desire to control the world. He tried to intellectualize it but it boiled down to arrogance and greed. He was also nuts, which helped. Not Alpha-style nuts where he acts like the Joker, but nuts nonetheless.

Obviously, Whiskey was going to survive any smackdown that her character was going to have with the Scooby gang (a term borrowed from Mr. Whedon's previous series) considering the high profile role that Whiskey had in "Epitaph One." I dimly recall hearing a line in there about getting Whiskey or Saunders or whomever out of the building before Active Boyd blew it up real good. Or am I mistaken?

Who didn't call the Mellie turn? It was so telegraphed as to be pathetic. They even threw in the cliché "Mellie stopping herself at the end," which would have been far more interesting if Paul had to kill her, particularly in light of the Dollhouse wiping his feelings toward her. Hell, it would have been more interesting if Adelle actually had Mellie's sleeper agent programmed so she could distinguish friend from enemy, but at the time (last week) they were in a hurry to get out of dodge and they weren't aware of Boyd's true nature.

Keep in mind that some of the future we saw in "Epitaph One" won't come to pass since the Dollhouse is already out of commission (such as the sale of the Actives' bodies). However, the general apocalyptic future seems secure.
I recognize that this is television, but Echo/Caroline and Paul looked no older ten years later. Getting imprinted must also give the recipients a facelift or something to remain eternally young. Or it could just be that vague "20's to 30's" age in which Caroline and Paul's are living.

It was an enjoyable episode, but not as much as last week's. Fortunately, there is the series finale to look forward to. In two weeks, the mega-happy ending. See you then.

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"I dimly recall hearing a line in there about getting Whiskey or Saunders or whomever out of the building before Active Boyd blew it up real good. Or am I mistaken?"

Yes. I believe it was Topher's voice saying: "I got Saunder's Out" (@ 41:38).

January 16 2010 at 8:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

to the pp-they said in a previous episode that they had to remove certain parts of his "brain/memory" in order to make the imprint of himself take. The one part was (which i don't remember what it's called) contained the memories/feelings for Echo. It all makes sense when they explain it-i'm not doing it justice.
I thought they way they explained Boyd's reason for having Echo/Caroline there was pretty clear-but then again I'm very used to Joss Whedon logic so...
Also I have to dissagree with the person who said Mellie's death was predicatble-The Joss Whedon "formula" (if he has one) is to kill someone who is HAPPY and just got together with the person they love (I.E. Bennett or Tara from Buffy). I totally did NOT expect Mellie's death or her killing herself-she seemed like such a strong person. I think really she did it because she knew she couldn't hold out against her sleeper self for long and she loved Paul too much to put him and the whole mission in danger. I was shocked and devastated-but ultimately it makes me love Joss more because he's not a wimp and kills characters where other shows would never! So sad this is ending! Fox just doesn't get it!

January 16 2010 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where was Mr. Dominick?!?

Also, would it have killed them to put some smoke and/or sirens outside the Rossum building in that last scene, to indicate that some portion of it just blew up?

January 16 2010 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to HCG's comment

I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought it was stupid to not have ANY indication that the building had some explosions.

January 18 2010 at 5:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thailand or some location? Try the building next door, pay attention to when the camera pans out in the last scene.

And Paul's feelings for Echo were wiped, but does that mean those for Mellie also???

January 16 2010 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tore Simonsen

Please save Dollhouse. Sign petitions and send emails.


January 16 2010 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tore Simonsen's comment

It's over already, all the storylines are tying up, you can't unravel them.

Just enjoy the last part of the roller coaster in 2 weeks.

January 16 2010 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Boyd said he knew she was biologically special due to having spied on her blood tests. Rossum knew Caroline's body had a unique chemical makeup at the outset. There was absolutely no reason for her to have to spend 5 years (or however long it's been) in the dollhouse. Her genetic makeup is her genetic makeup. As Boyd said, it's not about her mind, it's about her spinal fluid.

Makes NO sense.

January 16 2010 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment

It does make sense though. Her spinal fluid would not have been special if it were not for Echo resisting and controlling the imprints. Boyd knew from Coraline's blood tests that she would develop an immunity. If Echo never became the doll she was, her spinal fluid would have been useless. Boyd had her become a doll so she could create the vaccine.

January 16 2010 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i hate to say this now but i think that Alpha is the one who brings upon the mind-pocalypse cuz last we seen of him he had a device that could program people, but dont remeber what happened with him last.

January 16 2010 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

no he pushed her so she can fight the imprints. everytime her nervous system blocks an imprint it leaves nuro chemical tracers in her spinal coloum. they need to use her spinal fluid to make a cure to block the imprint technology so the big whigs can use it when the technology becomes abused. it wasnt very confusing at all and it actually made a lot of sense as to why he wanted her to "grow" and "develop" but i must ask the question, what happened to alpha? did they try to do what they did to echo to him? gez this season is getting better and better.

January 16 2010 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Josephine's comment

Thank you! Someone else who understood the episode as I did. I getting a little frustrated by the comments here. Not trying to be a jerk or anything...

January 16 2010 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah Nightfall that's what I thought (protected her from the Dollhouse? He let her be put at risk all the time, including being stuck in the attick)... until he said at the end that he didn't need her alive, he just needs her spinal fluid. There was some ramblings about growth and development, but that was all negated when he said her sole value was the liquid inside of her. Nothing to do with her special brain, her special abilities, etc. He somehow concluded that her spinal fluid is the "vaccine" against being made a doll. How does he know that, and why did it not stop caroline from becoming a Doll?

It makes no sense. It never did, from large scale, macro sense. But now even the central plots don't make sense.

January 16 2010 at 7:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, 5 years ago Boyd knew Caroline was special - NOT because of her mind but solely because of her spinal fluid - yet he made her a Doll to "develop her" and constantly put her life at risk, despite his "protection" for no logical reason.

Wow talk about stupid. I've said this show was illogical but wow.

January 16 2010 at 5:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bruce's comment

It seemed like Boyd was testing Caroline. Her physiology was different but she needed to be tested through her engagements to see the effect. Boyd's protection wasn't from Echo's missions, it was from the dollhouse's interference -- to allow her to grow and develop (don't remember the actual line).

I wouldn't say illogical, just not spelled out so clearly.

January 16 2010 at 7:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Echo only produced the chemical in her spinal fluid by being imprinted. As he didn't want to spill the beans on his plan, he had to go along with pretending that she was a normal doll. Normal dolls go on engagements. It's certainly a convoluted plan but definitely a logical one.

January 16 2010 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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