‘Dollhouse’ Episode 2.09 & 2.10 Recaps: ‘Stop-Loss’ & ‘The Attic’

Episode Title: “Stop-Loss” & “The Attic”

Written By: Andrew Chambliss / Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon

Synopsis: Time sure flies when you’re living in the Dollhouse — that’s certainly the case for Anthony Ceccoli, the man formerly known as Victor (Enver Gjokaj), who is released from his five year contract with the Rossum Corporation. But the real world has plans other than peace for Tony, leading him into a dark army controlled by Rossum. Echo (Eliza Dushku), Boyd (Harry Lennix) and Topher (Fran Kranz) bring Sierra (Dichen Lachman) — real name Priya Tsetsang — into their secret, hoping that her romantic connection to Victor will help bring him back into the fold.

Dollhouse overseer Adelle Dewitt (Olivia Williams) isn’t terribly pleased that her actives assaulted a Rossum facility, leading her to sentence Echo, Victor and Sierra to an indefinite stay in the Attic. While there, the Dolls reunite with Laurence Dominic (Reed Diamond) and learn a terrible truth about the real nature of the Attic. Meanwhile, Topher is forced to replace Paul Ballard’s (Tahmoh Penikett) brain with an active’s architecture, essentially turning him into a Doll so that he has a fighting chance at staying alive. Unknown to Paul — and the viewers — is that certain aspects of his brain and personality had to be sacrificed for the resurrection.

Raising an Army: There are two opposing sides in the upcoming “Dollhouse” war — Echo’s and Rossum’s. “Stop-Loss” demonstrated that the tyrannical corporation has active plans to build an army for still-unknown purposes, though we can assume by the events of “The Attic” that their plans aren’t for the betterment of humanity. Echo, meanwhile, has recruited a whole slew of allies to her side of the war, perhaps most importantly Adelle DeWitt. With Adelle in Rossum’s pocket, she’s just become Echo’s strongest ally. Still, with all of DeWitt’s previously demonstrated side-switching, it’s hard to know for sure which side she’s really on.

The Shape of Things to Come: Clyde (Adam Godley), one of the Rossum founders and the first member of the Attic, has calculated that there is only a 3% chance that the fulfillment of Rossum’s end game won’t result in the end of civilization. His worst nightmare is the world we see in “Epitaph One,” and unless that episode was an out-of-continuity one-off, then we’re absolutely spiraling towards that dystopia. With only three episodes left, it should be very cool to see Echo and her allies running around in the post-apocalyptic “Dollhouse” universe.

The Human Mainframe: We always knew that Rossum had ill intentions, but the revelation that the Attic’s use of human brains to propel the corporation’s mainframe is pretty messed up — especially when that power is generated by nightmares that include eating your own severed legs and watching your friends die on an endless loop. We now know how far and how twisted the collective Rossum brain is willing to take things — which is going to make it all the more awesome when Echo and her pals come rapping at their chamber door.

Final Imprints: The tally is now at six consecutively terrific episodes of “Dollhouse.” I’m not sure if it’s the two hour format or the fact that the writing was on the wall regarding the show’s ultimate fate, but the writers, actors and everyone else involved on the creative end of “Dollhouse” have stepped their games up tremendously. This show is absolutely on fire right now, and I’m actually thrilled that it’s almost over. Based on how fast we’ve moved in these past few episodes, I’m convinced that we’re in store for a very fun ride.

Next Engagement: Only three episodes of “Dollhouse” remain, the first of which airs in three weeks. Echo will finally face herself as Caroline, Dr. Saunders (Amy Acker) returns to the fold and an invasion is incurred upon the Dollhouse.

Tell us what you thought of “Stop-Loss” and “The Attic” in the comments section or on Twitter!