Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dollhouse: Gray Hour

I had to go watch this episode again on Hulu in order to properly write it up.  Its pacing was weird--it was sometimes so speedy I didn't quite catch what all was happening, and then other times it belabored itself over fairly obvious points.

It starts off with Echo at the top of a very high, snowy mountain, helping what must be a very rich couple give birth.  She does a good job, as expected.  It's somewhat pointless.

After she's wiped, she asks the standard "Did I fall asleep?" and following on the heels of last week's self-aware headshake at Sierra, Dave wasn't at all crazy to say "I think she's faking."  But no.  It doesn't seem like she's really woken up much at all; Echo, Sierra, and Victor all eat lunch together (to the great bafflement of Topher, and the great shrugging of Boyd), but that is about as far as their personalities seem to go.  I understand that we have to slow things down a big--if Echo wakes up too soon, we have no show, but it did seem like a fair amount of backtracking.

I am kind of cracked up at how the Actives talk though--"Good day."  "Shall I go now?"  A lack of personality equals Gentle Colonial Maiden?

Adelle, who frankly speaks kinda like an Active, meets with a Greek guy, whose job sent up a flag in their system, and so, as in the second episode, it is another case of charge the client more for risking an Active's life.  Grrrr.  

Mid-meeting, Adele gets a call from who appears to be her boss.  She is not the boss, after all.  Hmm.  Her boss is fairly snippy with her, and hangs up on her as she reassures him that they have the Ballard situation under control.  I don't know why I like Adele so much.  It can't be because she's Lila without the funny--for there is no Lila without the funny.

Echo is a prostitute hired for a bachelor party, and comes running out of the hotel room with blood running her chin, calling for help.  She is rescued by the hotel manager, who takes her to the security office, and offers her $10,000 to go away and never sue the hotel or any of its guests (do most hotels offer this?  Even the ones on 1/9 that rent by the hour?)  Whoa, big surprise; she doesn't take the money.  Instead, she beats up the manager, and calls in her non-Active cohorts (computer guy, bomb guy, and artifacts guy).  They are robbing the museum next door, and needed to get into the manager's office to blow up the wall.  Good plan.

Echo is Taffy, and brings some Faith, which is always fun.  Taffy puts her team on "Taffy Standard Time" and generally winds them around her finger.  She opens the vault, and they go in to find lost/stolen art that the museum can't admit to owning.  They are in search of a specific artifact--which the sniveling artifacts guy runs off with, shoots computer guy, and locks them in the vault.  

Taffy calls Boyd to let him know their situation, and have him stop artifacts guy and get the loot, but mid-call something static-y happens, and her mind gets wiped.  Crap.  Lots of confusion and fetal-rocking.  

Topher, in the middle of some charming abuse of his cute assistant Ivy ("get me juice boxes and poptarts"), sees what's happened, and they put Taffy into Sierra, hoping she can talk Echo out of this.  At this point, the guards are going to be there long before SierraTaffy can get there, so she calls Echo.  (Point of interest; SierraTaffy and EchoTaffy both say some of Taffy's standard lines, including "wear comfy shoes."  Their interpretation of the word comfy seems to include 5-inch thigh highs.  I suppose the Dollhouse has plenty of those on hand).

Adelle's version of dealing with Ballard leaves something to be desired.  She sends Victor/Lubov in, and the argue pointlessly, and Ballard throws him out.  Useless.

And here we are with the belaboring.  Echo is looking at some art--a Picasso portrait, with the features all out of alignment.  The metaphor there is clear enough, but rather than just leaving it to our intelligence, Echo and computer guy have a long discussion about what Art is For.  Oy.

Thankfully, SierraTaffy calls and interrupts this.  She instructs Echo on how to drill her way out of the vault, but Echo no longer has Taffy's steadiness of hand, and so sets off the alarm.  SierraTaffy goes back to sleep.  Boyd, unsurprisingly, goes in after Echo, but Echo has taken out bomb guy (who was abusive and violent), and rescued computer guy, who is her new art critic buddy.   She tells Boyd "he's broken.  I'm not broken."

Except, then she gets wiped again, and so whatever growth she's managed during this experience, is gone again.    But she seems not quite herself--she goes to swim her laps, but sits on the bottom of the pool.  She takes her communal shower, and draws a broken Picasso face on the steamy mirror.  

The awakening, it is slow.

Topher goes to see Adele, and demands an answer: Alpha, he says, is the only one who could have done this.  Which means, I guess, that they programmed Alpha with just about everything awesome and dangerous that they could think of.  Smart move.  Adele ups Topher's clearance, and admits that Alpha is alive.  

The end.  Blah.  It was an exciting plot, and it was fun to see multiple people playing the same character, but it could have been handled better, and there was just no arc-advancement.  We are at the same point we were at a week ago.  

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