Written By: Andrew Chambliss / Tracy Bellomo
Synopsis: Senator Daniel Perrin (Alexis Denisof) continues his investigation into the Rossum Corporation, but what he finds — and what the Dollhouse crew expects — turns out to be drastically more deadly and life-changing than he could have ever imagined.
In light of the revelation that Perrin isn’t who he thinks he is, the senator finds an unlikely ally in Echo (Eliza Dushku) as the two attempt to escape the clutches of the D.C. branch of the Dollhouse — but beyond the authorities looking to recapture them, Perrin and Echo must contend with the brilliant Bennett Halverson (Summer Glau), the D.C. Dollhouse’s technician who has a score to settle with Echo.
The Rossum Candidate: The reveal that Senator Daniel Perrin, the man leading the charge against Rossum and the Dollhouse, is in fact a doll himself was pretty darn cool. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities — imprints can be made on people while still preserving the initial personality, which is interesting, but not as interesting as the fact that Rossum programmed Perrin to expose the Dollhouse. Their rationale is that having Daniel score a small victory by tracing everything back to the Los Angeles branch, the rest of Rossum would be protected and would have a heroic politician well-placed in Washington and on their side. Pretty brilliant — except Perrin isn’t willing to play ball, and he’s got his own interests at heart now.
Perrin started out as a very bland character and could have easily gone the route of being Ballard-lite, but these back-to-back episodes made him stand out as one of the show’s most interesting characters since the disappeared Dr. Saunders (Amy Acker). Well done, Mr. Whedon.
Dollhouses: As “Fringe” posits, there is more than one of everything — and that includes Dollhouses, as we got the inside scoop on how D.C.’s branch operates. With geek favorites Ray Wise and Summer Glau assuming the Adelle DeWitt (Olivia Williams) and Topher Brink (Fran Kranz) roles, it’s hard to not want to see more of how this particular Dollhouse operates. Kudos goes to Glau especially who played a very different character from her recent “Firefly” and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” roles, despite still being a complete whacko. Still, her interactions with Topher and Echo — not to mention her solo scenes — were completely riveting.
But more importantly than the merits of the actors is the idea that the Dollhouses are rallying against the Los Angeles branch. Adelle undoubtedly feels the pressure, which could very well lead to an internal war between her Dollhouse and the rest of Rossum’s establishments. I’m certainly betting that that’s where we’re headed, though who knows what will happen with only a handful of episodes left.
Two Brinks Are Better Than One: While we’re on the subject of tipping our hats to actors, a major pat on the back goes to Enver Gjokaj for his turn as Victor tonight. In order to maximize Topher’s knowhow, the lab technician imprints himself upon Victor, leading to two Tophers in the second half of the two hour installment. Gjokaj’s Topher impression was absolutely hilarious and dead-on, providing yet another example as to why this actor is one of the very best that “Dollhouse” has to offer. Even if that’s the last we see of Gjokaj’s take on Topher, it was well worth every second.
Lonely Echo: The second episode ended with Echo all on her own, fully self-aware and hell-bent on doing some good. For the first time in a long while, we’re going into the next round of episodes with Echo already ingrained into the plot. I’m excited to see where the road takes our heroine, as this is exactly where she should have been much earlier in the season, but the fact remains that it’s a little too late. “Dollhouse” is heading towards a January conclusion, which means Whedon et al only has so much time to wrap everything up. If the show can fire on all cylinders like it did in these most recent episodes, then “Dollhouse” fans should be in for one heck of a ride.
Final Imprints: I thought that the double feature of “The Public Eye” and “The Left Hand” were two of the greatest episodes in the short run of “Dollhouse” so far, perhaps second only to “Epitaph One.” These episodes did wonders towards the show’s mythology and propelling Echo into a proactive situation, which are two of the biggest failings of the show to date. It’s just a shame that “Dollhouse” is nearly at an end just as things are starting to get really, really good.
Next Mission: Dewitt and her associates don’t know where Echo is, but it seems that Paul Ballard (Tahmoh Penikett) does as the two begin training for a presumable return to the Dollhouse. But when they get there, they’ll be in for a surprise as Alpha (Alan Tudyk) has returned with a snazzy new suit and an eye for taking over the Dollhouse once and for all.
What did you think of the back-to-back episodes? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!