'Dollhouse' Recap: The Hollow Men
This is a complicated episode, but it starts right after the last one wrapped up with everyone finding out that Boyd is the big bad guy. There was a lot of speculation for what his big plan would be, and why he needed Caroline in the first place. No one really expected for him to be a crazy person, and yet somehow that worked really well. Go figure. The show starts out with Priya and Tony coming back to the Dollhouse, being adorable and in love, and find it completely abandoned. The rest of the team has gotten out, with Paul, Mellie and Adelle meeting up with Topher, Echo, and Boyd. Echo is going crazy and screaming, so Boyd has to sedate her, thus saving the big reveal of his evilness for later in the episode. They all decide to go to Tucson to destroy the Attic mainframe.
Priya and Tony are back at the Dollhouse and they find a weird note in the lab saying 'press enter.' Tony volunteers to allow himself to be imprinted so they can find out what happened. And thus hilarity ensues again when he is imprinted with Topher. There are no words to describe how creepily accurate Enver's portrayal is of his own castmate; there were times I literally thought Fran was voice overing because Enver sounded so perfectly like Topher. Enver better get an amazing job after this, that's all I can say. His talent is exceptional. Anyway, back to the show. Vicpher realizes he has secret security cameras, and he sees Boyd drugging Echo. They realize Boyd is working for Rossum, which isn't the full truth but it's close enough. Vicpher suggests he bring Tony back but make him super spy awesome, and Priya's like 'sure, long as he's still my man.' She doesn't like it, but she changes her mind when he comes out kicking some serious butt.
Whiskey is now imprinted with Clyde 2.0 (or 5.0? 6.0?). It does make you wonder if it was Clyde who was making out with Boyd before, or if that was a twisted imprint of Claire, or ... whatever. Who knows! They get captured in Tucson and Boyd "saves" them, sending all his little chess pieces where he wants. Paul and Mellie are off to get weapons, and he gets Topher to fix the technology he created in the first place. They could not get it work, but Topher can. At first he realizes this is a bad idea, but he trusts Boyd (jeez) and does it. Echo attacks Boyd and his betrayal is revealed to the whole group, including Adelle who is brought down by Clyde.
Boyd creepily talks about how he loves all of them and they're his family, which is one of the most eerie things said on this show. Apparently Caroline's special ability is just something in her spinal fluid, a unique neurochemical tracer, and they intend to harvest her. Oh wow. That's beyond awful. Especially since he was just talking about them being a family and all, way to be the abusive father Boyd. He also wants Adelle to set off Mellie's program so she kills Paul, and when that happens Mellie manages to take control just long enough to shoot herself in the head. Which is sad, but it brings up an interesting point.
If Caroline is that 'special,' then why do all the Dolls show some ability to shake off their programming? Sierra and Victor loved one another despite everything, and November/Mellie got it together long enough to save the man she loved. Was Echo just quicker at fighting off the programming? Hm. Interesting question. That being said, Priya and Tony save Echo from the creepy spinal fluid machine, and they go to destroy the mainframe. Echo and Whiskey/Clyde have an awesome hand to hand fight, which is hilarious for Whedon fans since it is really Fred and Faith from "Angel" fighting. Paul doesn't know Boyd is evil yet so he goes to him for help, and then he's held hostage.
Boyd and Echo do have to fight after she willingly shoots Paul in the leg so he goes down, and this is one of the most emotional moments of the entire show. He defeats her and Eliza Dushku believably sobs that she loved Boyd. From here on out it gets rather painful to watch, because he is about to kill her and then he gets wiped remotely by Topher into a doll. Echo gives him explosives and has him kill himself, and thus the mainframe, while they all get to safety. It's fitting since he was Rossum, and yet it is very painful to watch since even we have trouble giving up Boyd to his evil villainy. It's not so much that he doesn't deserve to die - he does - but rather that everyone that loved him still feels the pain of his betrayal. Their regrets must be numerous.
So Boyd's plan was to use Topher's machine to eventually wipe everyone into dolls, or he knew it would happen eventually anyway, and he was going to use Echo's special spinal fluid to protect a special few people. He saw the apocalypse coming and decided to prepare for it rather than stop it. And in the end, none of their fighting mattered, because the show jumps forward to the "Epitaph 1" world and the inevitable did in fact happen.
Come back on Friday, January 29th, for the series finale of "Dollhouse" on FOX at 9 PM EST. Bring tissues.
Image © Fox Broadcasting
Story by Chelsea Doyle
Starpulse contributing writer
Follow Chelsea on twitter at http://twitter.com/mustbethursday.
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