So the season finale of "Dollhouse
" was aired last week, and fans of the show are filled with bittersweet anticipation as its fate is being decided. In all likelihood the show will be canceled by Fox in a few weeks, despite getting pleasing DVR and online numbers, but we were prepared for it from the beginning. After seeing the strong finale, however, it's sad to think this is the last venture into that creepy twisted utopia.
Alpha (Alan Tudyk
) has broken into the Dollhouse, slashed up Victor's face, terrified Claire, and stolen Echo. With Echo he has taken all of the personalities she's ever been imprinted with, and her original Caroline persona. Ballard must work together with Adelle and Boyd to find out where he has taken her, and to save Echo before Alpha finishes his final plan. Viewers are treated for a lot more back story on the mysterious Alpha and how he came to be, and for a quiet little twist involving Dr. Claire Saunders and why Alpha enjoyed taunting her so very much. Since the plot jumped around time a great deal, it might be better to be linear to explain.
At one time Dr. Claire was actually Whiskey, a Doll who was the very best. She went on a mission with Alpha, and they both went a little crazy and started torturing the man who hired them. Later on Echo is brought in for the first time and Alpha feels drawn to her, much like Victor had a weird connection to Sierra. He, however, takes it a little far by deciding to disfigure Whiskey so Echo can be the number one Doll. They intend to send Alpha to the attic after figuring out which of his memories caused this sudden psychotic attack, and by doing so Topher actually plugs in all of his personalities at once. Alpha escapes and has his 'composite' attack, killing dozens including the real Dr. Saunders. Whiskey was considered too ... well, ugly ... to be a Doll so they programmed her as the new doctor. This way she could finish her contract and still be of use. She pieces this together herself, and asks Topher why he programmed her with a vicious hatred of him. Possibly because Topher had feelings for her and hated himself? Who knows, but it clearly upsets him.
Echo (Eliza Dushku) risks her life in the DOLLHOUSE season finale episode "Omega". ©2009 Fox Broadcasting
In crazy town, Tudyk continues to rock this show as Alpha, constantly arguing with himself and the voices in his head as he drives Echo to an unknown location. They also kidnapped a young store clerk. Echo is programmed with the same personality that Whiskey had on her murderous adventure with Alpha. He programs the store clerk with Caroline's personality, and he informs Echo that Caroline abandoned her and deserves to pay for it. He destroyed his original self in fury at what had been done to him, and he wants Echo to do the same. He believes it will make them God-like and above everything else. He forces Echo to get all of her personalities at once, just like him, but instead of being crazy she fights him off. She wants Caroline to be safe, although she does feel some betrayal to her real self for 'going to sleep' and leaving her as a slave.
Meanwhile Boyd and Ballard try to figure out where the pair are, and they are an awesome combo. Ballard helps get rid of the FBI (Alpha calls in a fake terrorist attack), and then he figures out that despite Alpha's original personality being destroyed, part of it lingers in him. Alpha was once an attempted murderer, and by talking to his former victim he and Boyd find a location for where he took her to die. It is the same place that he and Whiskey took their employer to die, and where he brought Echo as well. They get there as Alpha and Echo fight, and Alpha threatens Caroline's original programming to keep Echo off of him. Alpha manages to get away when he flings Caroline, but Ballard manages to save the mind wedge and thus be the savior he wanted to be.
The show ends with Ballard agreeing to work for them if they release Mellie/November from her contract, and he finds out her real name was Madeline. Echo and the other Dolls go about business, Whiskey knows what she is but embraces her new life as Dr. Saunders, Alpha is still running around free, and Echo whispers 'Caroline' before going to sleep one last time. And that will most likely be the last of this fantastic, bizarre, and thoughtful show. Yes it took a few weeks to pick up, but once it did it was completely worth watching. The questions it brought up about memory, the soul, and moral ambiguity were really provoking. On the DVD set there will be a special episode that was never aired, so something a little extra for the fans.
Here's hoping "Dollhouse" somehow gets a miracle and FOX gives it one last chance, but this will probably be the last of it. And what a shame that is, but next time, Mr. Whedon, don't bring your ideas to FOX. You already knew what happened to "Firefly
Dollhouse Cast: Eliza Dushku
, Harry J. Lennix
, Fran Kranz
, Tahmoh Penikett
, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman
, Olivia Williams
Story by Chelsea 'Dee' Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer