Dollhouse: Omega   Rewatch 
November 4, 2020 11:26 AM - Season 1, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Alpha has taken Echo. More secrets of the Dollhouse are revealed. Ballard must work with the Dollhouse to stop Alpha, if he wants to save Caroline.
posted by Kyol (3 comments total)
So this is sort of where I end up getting a bit confused between what Alpha wanted from Caroline / Echo and what, ultimately speaking, Rossum wanted from Caroline. Like, was it just a happy accident that Alpha's mad science experiment ended up with Echo learning how to control and inhibit the imprints? Next season sort of suggests that that was Rossum's goal, and maybe she would've gotten there eventually without Alpha pulling the big brain dump on her?
posted by Kyol at 11:28 AM on November 4, 2020

I'm pretty sure the show hasn't been able to articulate Alpha's motivations towards Caroline/ Echo well at all. (Nor, really, Ballard's.)

At first I thought it was a 'Harrison Bergeron'* situation.

Not sure why Alpha switches from Whiskey over to Echo, other than for purely animal/ physical reasons. Caroline ends up as having a "superior" brain, but there's no way for Alpha to have known that.

However, we see Whiskey exhibit bleedthrough (when her bedside manner drops when attending Victor, hinting that the original memories - or at least some of them - are potentially returning), so either Alpha recognized Whiskey as having a good brain, but Caroline's was even better?

While Alpha is playing a long game (setting up "shoulder guy" to 1) test Caroline, 2) initial dose to set Caroline's brain free), alongside setting up Ballard for his Dollhouse infiltration. But Alpha never needed Ballard to do so, except as maybe a diversion for their escape.

As for Rossum's behaviour next season, I'm feeling that there are still a lot of bugs in the Dollhouse tech, and that they were deploying beta/ R&D technology before it's ready. Especially when it comes to people, it's like the pharmaceuticals industry; some people get side effects, so the company just plays the numbers not unlike 'Fight Club''s exposition on doing vehicle recalls.

Once the tech starts failing, it became a "it's not a bug, it's a feature" and Rossum ran with it. It's a pretty awesome feature - for those with power.

'Dollhouse' has lots of "look at me, ain't I clever" bits, but Wedon isn't as clever as he thinks he is, I don't think.

That said, I like the 'Reservoir Dogs'/ 'Natural Born Killers' sexytime torture scene - especially where everyone just leaves the hostage behind.

The "carrying multiple imprints at the same time" thing is beyond silly - even taking into account the show's fantasy explanation of how it all works. Anyway, no point in thinking about this. I'll just need to turn off my brain and go along with the ride.

Interesting casting of Ashley Johnson as the Caroline repository.

There was A. Lot. going on in this episode.

Boyd is good enough to completely fool Ballard, for another.

The Dr. Saunders imprint being "cross-sleeved" begins an interesting line of inquiry, and iirc, someone chooses to cross-sleeve into the Whiskey body once the tech is released. (Also, does Whiskey need to sleep in a Doll coffin, too?)

It's absolutely mind boggling that they didn't just terminate Echo, apparently they didn't learn anything from Alpha. They're shady - who's going to investigate "broken contracts," when they "attic" their employees?

Did appreciate the (temporary?) closure of Ballard's arc, but him flipping to indulge his obsession with Caroline is unsatisfying and nobody in their right mind would believe that Ballard would stay flipped especially after he made it clear that he thinks Rossum are super duper evil. Also Mark Sheppard/ Tanaka ... just walks away?

All in all this sets up the next episode, Epitaph One pretty well.

*As an aside, the Sean Astin starring full-length film adaptation was interesting if flawed (trying to stretch out a short story to a full lengther) adaptation but the short '2081' with Julie Hagerty, James Cosmo, and Armie Hammer (narrated by Patricia Clarkson) is pretty brilliant.

posted by porpoise at 4:53 PM on November 7, 2020 [1 favorite]

Nevermind about Rossun's plans, I totally misrememberred it all.

Yeah, I think it was a happy coincidence that Alpha made a messiah or something. Completely unintentionally.
posted by porpoise at 5:55 PM on November 7, 2020

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