2.7 Meet Jane Doe
Generally, I’ve liked where Dollhouse has gone this year much more than I did with its choices in the first season. It’s almost like the knowledge that it’s cancelled has allowed a creative freedom the scrabble for ratings suppressed.
However, on occasion they still do annoying things that rub this reviewer the wrong way. The early part of this story has a prime example, which starts where the previous one left off with Echo wandering lonely as a hobo with ninja skills.
The ‘doll state’ she’s in doesn’t actually give her enough understanding of the world around her to actually survive, as she doesn’t understand that food must be paid for.
She ends up robbing a store to help an immigrant, who then gets caught by a nasty local sheriff played by Glenn Morshower, ex-presidential secret service agent from 24. Echo escapes because when she’s cornered she accesses one of her more violent personalities and disables the pursuing deputy.
This begged a simple question: if she reacted to being physically attacked by finding the right personality, why didn’t starving trigger a suitable response?
Then, without any explanation we see Echo working as a medical orderly in a hospital. What they failed to convey at this point was that three months had passed, and Echo is now changing personalities like lip balm. Although, the downside is that this does have the side effect of migraine-like attacks.
The nursing persona is actually to get access to the poor woman she accidentally landed in jail, so she can break her out using her Super-Doll powers. In some respects this is the show I feared Dollhouse might become, where she flicks from rocket scientist to gynaecologist in the blink of an eye. There’s even a cute Matrix reference when she sees a motorbike and her immigrant friend asks if she can ride it, and she says “I can now”…like she’s just been uploaded with the knowledge.
Meanwhile, back at the Dollhouse, Matthew Harding has relegated Adelle to serving beverages, and she’s none too pleased at these and other changes.
With things so obviously fractured between those that run the LA Dollhouse and the Rossum people, you’d think that Adelle would want to align herself with those around her, but as the story progresses she does the complete opposite by shopping the revolutionary work that Topher has to Harding. This work, the implications of which were seen in the DVD special episode Epitaph One, allows any person to be imprinted without Dollhouse architecture in their brains, a very scary prospect, indeed.
We then find out that Ballard and Boyd are working together, with the intention of returning Echo to the Dollhouse when she’s ready to Super-Doll Rossum on their big fat corporate backsides. And her return to the Dollhouse, and Ballard with her, is where the story ends.
I’m not really sure making Adelle the enemy has legs, even if we know she can be ruthless on occasion, but it’s a choice the writers made.
This adventure seemed something of a holding pattern, but next story seems much more appetising, as it promises the return of Alan Tudyk as the psychotic Alpha.
Though with Fox churning through Dollhouse at two a week, this season and show will soon be over.
Read our review of episodes 5 and 6 here.